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#106 Paradise Parrot


Continuing in my parrot week. As I said before, most of the birds this week will be extinct. The Paradise Parrot was last seen in 1927. They lived in the woodland areas of Eastern Australia, but were mostly ground dwelling birds. They nested in termite mounds and lived in small family groups or in pairs. The reasons for their extinction is not actually known. Most likely the typical combination of habitat loss, feral cats and dogs, bird collectors, and competing with livestock and agricultural areas. They liked grass seeds, so over-grazing would have been a big problem for them. This is another one I painted after looking at a lot of taxidermy specimens and a couple black and white photos. It was interesting, many of the stuffed ones did not have brown eyes, which is what would be accurate, instead they had yellow, blue, and green eyes. I absolutely love how it looks as if it has a dark brown toupee on!

I'm not scientifically accurate, I know that, but I desperately try to be as close as possible. I look up what the pupil shape is on all these animals. I try to get the colours as close to possible as I can, though I am not always able to accurately recreate a certain colour. The idea of giving something blue eyes when they all had brown in real life seems so wrong. I thought about doing a juvenile Hawaiian crow because they have blue eyes and it is a pretty denim sort of blue. I haven't been painting any young animals so far, only adults, so even though I like the look of the Juvenile Hawaiian crow, I painted an adult. It is amazing to me how inaccurate some scientific renderings are even. It is bothersome because once the animal is gone, if all we have are bad drawings, how are future generations to know what they are missing? Even more upsetting is how many animals I've come across where there is no drawing I can find, no photograph, and not even a single one line description.

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