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#136 Black-winged Starling

Critically Endangered

These were once a common bird and were thought they could be a potential threat even to the Bali Myna. Unfortunately, they too became highly sought after as caged birds. There is a captive breeding program, and they have been reintroduced to some extent, but they are trapped so quickly that extinction in the wild is certainly a possibility. There were 25 released in an area they still inhabited back in 2012. The park then was put under the control of the national park authorities who did not discourage trapping as much as those who ran it previously had. The birds in that area quickly went from 40 total, to just 8.

I am so excited, I heard from the Ichthyologist up in Canada whose name I was seeing on pretty much everything written about the lamprey. I will admit, when I saw that he said he wanted to help, I did a bit of a happy dance. I'm not sure how many people have ever done a happy dance for a lamprey, but I am part of that crowd! I haven't had a chance to read them yet, but he sent me several pdf files that I can hopefully use figure out what the mouth looks like. He said that it is complicated so it was nice to know I'm not the only one who finds them a bit of a puzzle. I may not get it painted tomorrow, it depends on how quickly I read what he so graciously sent to me and get things figured out. I really am just almost giddy because learning about these animals I am painting is half of the fun for me. I have always said I'm a collector of information. Having tidbits of knowledge that most people would probably find completely pointless makes me very happy. That's probably one of the reasons I decided to memorize pi to 100 digits. Then unfortunately because of my epilepsy and seizures I ended up with memory problems. Now the best I can do is recite pi reliably up to 46 digits, sometimes 50.

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