Least Terns. #21052

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by Holly Wach

Our smallest tern. Often seen flying low over the water, with quick deep wingbeats and shrill cries. Usually hovers before plunging into water for tiny prey; does more hovering than most terns. Populations are endangered in many areas because of human impacts on nesting areas, especially competition for use of beaches.

Nests in colonies, sometimes in isolated pairs. In courtship, male (carrying fish in bill) flies upward, followed by female, then both glide down. On ground, displays include courtship feeding. Nest site is on open ground . Nest is shallow scrape, sometimes lined with pebbles, grass, debris.


Framed Giclee print of original watercolor (framed in white as shown in group image)

I’ve been fortunate to study at New York’s most prestigious art institutions  (MFA from the New York Academy of Art, Art Students League, New York Studio  School) and I’ve spent countless hours drawing from the archives of its best museums. 

I’ve dedicated a life to developing my craft and observing first-hand the creatures of nature that inspire me. I’ve built a deep relationship with my materials and my process, the kind you can’t get from books or photographs alone. 

Hiking, camping, and fishing the forests, jungles, deserts, and waters of four continents have greatly informed how I compose my visual conversations between nature and the viewer. Birds use their voices, talons, and feathers, showing human-like traits of emotion and intelligence. My paintings celebrate that we are kindred spirits with the creatures of nature.

I hope my work helps you slow down in a world teeming with distractions, so you can have your own dialogue with nature.