Sunday, February 23, 2014

Living the Rainbow: A Selection of Exotic Birds from Around the World pt. 1

Hey ya'll 

I'll be moving back to the Bukit Kinta Rainforest come March 1st 2014 so updates at the blog will foreseeable grow a lot slower. In between now and then, however, I would like to take the opportunity to clear up some of the things I've had stored away for the past few months or so. The following are a list of paintings I did of exotic birds from all over the world. The theme of inspiration for me at that time was the idea of the "Rainbow" and how so many birds seemed to embody it so effortlessly. 

The Scarlet Macaw (ara macao) is a large colorful parrot that is native to South America. They are predominantly red, yellow, and blue in color although certain individuals may ehixibit various patches of green. The range of the scarlet macaw is relatively large but deforestation and capture for the exotic bird trade has made populations of wild birds largely fragmented with small groups existed over large distances in various regions. 

Like many other macaws, they mate for life and nest in the cavities of hollowed trees. Birds are relatively long lived with some individuals recording a whopping 75-80 years of age in captivity. In the wild they may often bee found gathering in large flocks with other macaws and parrots at the banks of rivers partaking in a phenomenon that is known as "clay licking". The reason for this is thought to be because of the macaws largely herbivorous diet that may sometimes include the leaves or flowers of poisonous plants. The clay from the Amazon basin is believed to neutralize many of these toxins and make them safe for the birds to digest. The scarlet macaw is the national bird of Honduras. 

Also a member of the parrot family, the Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) is a small, colorful bird that is native to the Southeastern portion of the Australian continent, and some parts of Tasmania. In recent decades, however, the Eastern Rosella has also become naturalized in many parts of New Zealand, typically North Island and Dunedin. Because of its brilliant coloration, the Eastern Rosella is sometimes kept as a pet bird although, they generally do not socialize as well with their human captors and other birds as other species of parrots. Like most parrots, the nest is made in an abandoned tree hollow and a clutch of five to six eggs may be laid. The yare one of the most colorful of the Australian parrots (barring the Rainbow Lorikeet, which is a fair contender) and may be seen readily in both rural and urban areas. 
This last Living Rainbow is not a parrot at all but a pheasant.  Probably the most underrated of the birds, the males of some pheasant species such as the handsome Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) pictured here are some of the most spectacular members of the avian world. The Golden Pheasant is native to the mountainous areas of Western China but because of its popularity as a show bird, it has since established self sustaining feral populations in various parts of the world. The birds are about a meter long, with the tail accounting for most of its length and like many other galliforms, both sexes are highly sexually dimorphic with male birds exhibiting the more beautiful feathers. Golden pheasants are capable of flight but their rounded wings make them rather clumsy in the air. Despite their brilliant coloration, however, the birds are difficult to spot in their natural habitat and consequently, not much is known of the birds' behavior in the wild.  The bird is believed to have inspired early painters and artists with regards to the design of the Chinese Phoenix. 
As always, if you are interested in purchasing any of these images as high quality prints, feel free to browse around the print gallery at my deviantart account

Peace Out

No comments: