Wakefield’s peregrines are now a work of art

Peregrine by Hoshi Dee
Peregrine by Hoshi Dee
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The city’s peregrine falcons are now works of art.

The high flying residents of Wakefield Cathedral have caught the arty eye of Diana Bracewell, of Alverthorpe,

Wakefield artist Hoshi Dee with some of her work

Wakefield artist Hoshi Dee with some of her work

She has drawn the birds and has written blogs about them.

The 34-year-old, who exhibits under the name Hoshi Dee, said: “I find birds of all kinds fascinating, but birds of prey really capture my imagination.

“Peregrine falcons in particular because of their agility, speed and intelligence.

“I jumped at the opportunity to get involved in raising awareness of these magnificent birds and wildlife conservation as a whole in Wakefield.”

Hoshi Dee's picture contrasting the juvenile and adult plumages of a peregrine falcon.

Hoshi Dee's picture contrasting the juvenile and adult plumages of a peregrine falcon.

Since a pair of birds nested last in the heart of the city last spring, Hoshi has been busy creating a range of peregrine inspired works. They feature on her website and her fact-filled Peregrine blogs.

Her latest blog features a rooftop tour of the nest, courtesy of Wakefield Naturalists, and tells of the installation of the new nest box camera.

But the focus of the artist’s blog post is on what the peregrines have been feasting on this winter.

They are rather messy eaters and leave plenty of clues behind.

LUNCH ITEM: A teal was one of the ducks predated by the Wakefield Cathedral peregrines. Picture: Hoshi Dee.

LUNCH ITEM: A teal was one of the ducks predated by the Wakefield Cathedral peregrines. Picture: Hoshi Dee.

Hoshi said: “There were pellets, feathers, feet (ew!) and skulls, lots of skulls, and it was these skulls that tell us the most. They can be used to distinguish between bird types in the absence of plumage and markings.

“Peregrines like to hunt on the wing, mostly catching their prey in the air. They feed almost exclusively on medium sized birds, it is said that a fifth of the world’s bird species are predated on by peregrine falcons; I feel another blog post coming on!”

The artist saw the skulls of a woodcock - a wader - and a teal, which is a species of duck.

Hoshi then set about drawing these birds before and after.

This skull of a teal was found close to the peregrines' nest box on Wakefield Cathedral. Picture: Hoshi Dee.

This skull of a teal was found close to the peregrines' nest box on Wakefield Cathedral. Picture: Hoshi Dee.

She added: “Creating these pieces was a fascinating process, appealing to both my artistic and science sides; The juxtaposition of life and death, a beautiful symmetry.

“I will be continuing this series of peregrine prey pictures with at least two more sets of images. Watch this space!”

Visit www.hoshidee.co.uk/?p=388 to find out more.