#3 Tooth-billed Pigeon

Critically Endangered

The last live sighting of these seems to have been in 2013, and I just hope that they are still holding on. There were 2 killed in 2016, accidentally while hunters tried to kill other pigeons. They are the national bird of Samoa, and are also known as Manumea. They are facing extinction because of cats (you will find that is a common cause for extinction danger in small animals), deforestation, and accidental death by hunters.

They are the closest living relative of the dodo, and their scientific name means little dodo. They eat fruit and are a vital seed dispersing species.

This was difficult for me to paint. Obviously I am working from photos for all of these paintings. I am not copying any of the photos though, that wouldn't be right. I generally look at about 8 photos minimum for all of these paintings, and then come up with my own. I could not find a single photo of these birds from the front. I also found it was interesting because all the scientific drawings of them seemed to focus on the idea of them being related to the dodo, and went with the stretched out taxidermied specimens. They usually did not even include the little teeth (hard to see, but I did draw it in) that gave it the name. So, I looked at the very few actual photos taken of live ones, all in profile. I ignored the scientific drawings, and went with what the descriptions said (one scientist said they were adorable). This is entirely my idea of what they might look like.

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All images © 2023 by Sara Jensen, do not copy.