When I have some time to myself at the San Diego Zoo I usually find myself late in the afternoon standing at the far back of the zoo in front of one of the raptor outdoor aviaries. (I often pull anyone I'm with there too, but other people don't seem quite as intent on staring at these birds.) Once I found myself with a churro in hand tearing mouthfuls and chewing at about the same pace as the giant Harpy Eagle was consuming what appeared to be a rat. The bird's focus and careful dexterous movement felt familiar, gruesome, and beautiful.
This Eagle's sharp outline and quite present patterning are eye catching, but its beauty is not what kept me watching it. Whenever I am there it seems to be a bit removed from the viewing area and fascinated by one place or another on the low ground of its soaring aviary. This time I actually saw the low growing plants rustle as a creature moved under them. Because of the eagle's interest I watched everything more closely. I watched the ground for what seemed like minutes (it was probably just a minute) and then watched the eagle for minutes as it made small shifts, seeming always to move so that it could eye the ground more carefully.
I believe another bit of a face will be captured. If you'd like to see your eye, nose, or mouth painted visit this post. And if you'd like to know why I am painting individual paintings of eyes, wrinkles, and mouths visit this post.