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Tiny Hawk & Black-Throated Mango (1996)

Acrylic on illustration board
11" x 6"

A diminutive representative of the goshawk genus, the aptly-named tiny hawk (Accipiter supercilliosus) is roughly the size of a starling. Found from Nicaragua to northern Argentina, it is typically a denizen of deep jungle, where its small size and its habit of standing very still make it very hard to spot. Hummingbirds like the black-throated mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) make up a large fraction of its diet, and it seems to specialize to some degree on these birds. To emphasize the fury of this piece, I set the subjects against an insanely brilliant backdrop of Amazonian orchids, bromeliads and butterflies. The orchids include the genera Brassia, Laelia, Cattleya and Stanhopea. The bromeliads include the genera Aechmea and Guzmania and the butterflies include the genera Heliconius and Callicore and the snake at the lower right is an eyelash viper (Bothriechis schlegelii), another predator on hummingbirds.