Woodcock, Setter, Woodcock

Artist Jeff Gandert


On the Wildlife Page;
a new Slate-colored Junco painting as well as a few new songbird studies

And on the In the Spotlight page I shine the spotlight on the Red-tailed Hawk species.


White-breasted Nuthatch & Honey Locust
36"x24" acrylic on panel
~ From a Private Collection ~

I guess for most wildlife a thorn tree would be something to be avoided but a
  White-breasted Nuthatch is very much at home foraging around a tree like this. In fact, to the nuthatch this tree is a veritable smorgasbord. The thorns and heavy plates of bark provide plenty of hiding locations for insects to 'winter it out' in. A perfect place for the nuthatch to grab a hidden meal. His beak, a smaller, compact, needle like version of the thorns around him, is the perfect tool for extracting them.
 I have spent more than a little time contemplating Honey Locust trees. Nature just doesn't give any species anymore than it needs to survive. That said the thorns on these trees are nothing short of a fortress. Maybe a defense against the now extinct Mastodon or Woolly Mammoth that might have dined on the succulent bark, or maybe against bears that may try to climb the tree to munch on the 'snow pea' like bean pods before they are ripened enough to sprout as seedlings the following year. I don't know but the tree has a formidable defense with it's own style of genuine beauty that the upside down foraging nuthatch finds as a treasure trove buffet.
"Needles" has been chosen for exhibition in the Society of Animal Artists 59th annual exhibition. The exhibit will debut at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio Texas from September 19 2019 to January 1 2020.