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#193 Greater 'amakihi


Almost done with the week of extinct or presumed extinct Hawaiian birds.

It is shocking to me, but when they were first discovered, it is said that even the natives did not know they existed. There never were very many of them, they lived in a very small area. Their habitat was cleared to make a large sugarcane plantation. For some reason, the plantation was abandoned not terribly long after it was created. I do not know why, but it was too late for the birds. By 1901 they were gone. So people decided to in essence wipe out a species and then just decided that "nope, never-mind, we don't like this spot after all". The epitome of wasteful and callous behaviour and makes me so angry

This is one of those paintings where artistic decisions are made and I cannot be certain how close to reality it really is. The "scientific" paintings I saw all showed it as sort of a split pea green mixed with chartreuse. They usually had brown or black legs too. The one picture I could find of a specimen at Bishop Museum showed a bird that was much more yellow than green. The written description I found said that while it was called "the green solitaire", it was a "brownish winged bird with a yellow body". There was also someone who said that while alive they had beautiful blue legs which faded a few days after they died and became black. The picture of the specimen doesn't show the wings or tail, so I am going with brown wings and basing the idea of a brown tail from looking at the other species of 'amakihi and how their tails and wings looked...but brown. That all means you get a yellow bird with a little tinge of green, with brown wings and tail, and blue legs. Oh, and you get a picture of the beach down the hill from my parents' house. There is usually a whole lot of beach to wander around on. We went out there today to drop off the chairs we made for on their porch as a Christmas present, and their groceries (I shop for them and for my in-laws because they are more at risk from the virus). It is really blustery and stormy here, but at the Oregon Coast it is usually even worse. There is no way you could walk on the beach right now. Normally I would love to walk there on a stormy day. When it is blustery there are almost no people there, and the waves are beautiful. You can see toward the left of the photo a seagull, there were almost none of them flying because it was tough for them.

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