Red-Tailed Hawk Tail Feather – First Molt?

I had a rare find when I was out and about recently — a beautiful feather. I looked it up and think it is a red-tailed hawk tail feather from a first molting. I was able to do a very rough sketch of it and took some photos. I hope to do a more detailed pen and ink study of it, adding color. This is graphite pencil with some colored pencil added to get a sense of the color scheme. 
I love the pattern of dark brown, tan, and creamy white and was fascinated to see all of the details up-close.

Have you ever found anything unusual in your wanderings that you were able to draw or photograph?


  1. Carol, your feather is outstanding! It looks so soft and touchable. You really did capture the colors too. I also pick up odd findings to draw, often small stones of different shapes and colors, but more often I'm "drawn" to leaves and feathers. I did find a jawbone once that I believe is from a squirrel, but am not really sure. It's all white with some teeth still attached. I've never drawn it, however. Along Lake Michigan shore, I've found a few bird skulls, (probably seagulls), no drawings of those either. I'd better get busy!!! By the way, did I say–I love your feather!

  2. Great find Carol. I like your drawing and you have captured the colours and detail so nicely. I have often used coloured pencils for feathers as the colours blend well to give the feather a sheen.Be warned, you will get hooked on feathers. look forward to seeing the ink version. millyx

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