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Original Vector Graphic:
"Australasian Harrier Hawk"

This is the Australasian Harrier Hawk (Circus aopproximans), found in Australia, New Zealand, and the Islands of the SW Pacific.

I made this vector graphic about 3 years ago. I had constructed a Cat Garden at the end of the house, using 6’ netting and 4”x4” posts concreted into the ground. My workshop has windows looking out at ground level – the house is dug into the bank at the back and side.

At the time of the harrier episode, I had 3 ducks living there, and one day about lunchtime I heard the ducks making an infernal racket. So I went to look and got a huge shock. Standing on a rock in the garden about 4’ away from the window was an Australasian Harrier Hawk (Circus approximans). He was standing side-on to me at about eye-level and though we see them flying round here daily, I’ve never been as close to one as this. He was bigger than I thought.

It was one of those unforgettable moments when I could have wished my eyes were a camera. The size and presence of him was something else. He looked across at me for a moment or two, then spread his great wings and took off.

Obviously this called for action. I was surprised he had come down into the garden, because it’s overhung on one side by the lower branches of a Norfolk Island Pine, has the wall of our 2 story house on another side, scrub on the two other sides, and a couple of tree ferns growing in it, so it doesn’t offer a smooth flight path. But these birds are the masters of flight, and I didn’t have any doubts about why he was there. So I went out with a roll of electric hot tape and laced it back and forth across the airspace.

I thought wistfully about this encounter for a long time, bemoaning my lack of a record. Then one day I decided, “Heck, why not just get on with it?” I did some research, and this image is the result. Vector graphic in Fireworks.

You can now buy Cards, Giclee Prints and Framed Prints of this work:

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