Flight of the Nighthawks by Nader G. Vakili

Flight of the Nighthawks

Red Cedar on a deep blue, laminated backboard
Seven ~1-ft-long birds; Assembled: 6'H x 8'W x ~12"D

I had been thinking about birds in flight, and thought I would like to use the forks of branches for the body and wings of birds. Since red cedar has such beautiful changes in color between heart- and sapwood, I went through the cedar woodpile collecting as many as I could which were old enough so that there would be a good amount of heartwood that had changed in color. Chuck-Will's-Widow is a kind of nighthawk, brownish with white areas, and a big head with a strong tapering to the wings. When the nighthawk dives, it turns back its wings, so that it looks almost like an arrowhead coming down. When it opens its mouth, it's so large and ungainly that I curved the mouth to the side, accentuating the beak.