Artist Emily Ritter

Peregrine Falcon perched on one foot. Artwork by Emily Ritter from a photograph by Dan Varland.
Emily Ritter on a raptor survey with Coastal Raptors during January 2023.

In 2021 Emily earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Pennsylvania’s Millersville University where she focused on animal behavior and minored in studio art. After graduation Emily took temporary work in wildlife conservation before completing an internship at the Pennsylvania-based Hawk Mountain Sanctuary; she moved to western Washington late in December of 2022. While an intern, Emily became aware of opportunities for volunteering with Coastal Raptors in Washington, thanks to learning about the collaborative Turkey Vulture tracking research involving Hawk Mountain and Coastal Raptors.    

Quoting Emily from an email she sent to me following her flight across country:

I hope you’re doing well. I just made it to Washington late last night and I can’t wait to go birding and see my first coastal raptor…I’m still incredibly interested in donating my time to doing some art for Coastal Raptors. I just started making digital art and am excited to draw raptors.

Emily’s effort resulted in a digital rendition of a female Peregrine Falcon captured by Coastal Raptors during a survey. The falcon was fitted with visual identification band 35/B at Ocean Shores on October 30, 2018. 35/B stands alone as the only peregrine banded by Coastal Raptors with white talons (two on her right foot). 35/B is quite approachable, with more than 100 re-sightings as of this writing. 35/B’s approachability makes her a darling with wildlife photographers, myself included. One of my photos of 35/B, at right below, was used as reference material in Emily’s art.

35/B in first-year plumage on the day she was banded, October 30, 2018.
Closeup view from banding day, showing bands and white talons.
35/B in adult plumage on October 23, 2022. Emily used this image as a reference for her art.

Emily’s portrait is featured on ‘thank you’ cards sent to Coastal Raptors donors in 2023. Thank you Emily!

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