#312 Coppery Thorntail

Data Deficient

I was torn whether I should paint this or not. They are listed as Data Deficient, which I have painted before but prefer not to for this series. They are only known from two skins that were found in Bolivia sometime in the 1800's. The problem is, they do not even know if those two (male) birds were killed in Bolivia or were killed elsewhere and brought to Bolivia by someone from elsewhere. Because they have not been seen since the two skins, they cannot be classified as extinct or endangered. Those two that were killed could have been the last two alive and caused the extinction of the species, or they could be thriving in another country entirely. Nothing is known about them obviously. Unfortunately, the only written description I could find was based on the skins, not a live one. They did not match the couple of colour pictures I found. I tried to sort of combine the best photograph with the written description so I do not guarantee it is accurate, though it should be similar. The one I saw essentially had one primary feather on its wing, so I looked at similarly coloured thorntail hummingbirds to see what the inside of their wings looked like.

I've been watching a program about an air ambulance in the UK. It is amazing, a charity so mostly donation funded organization. I had been going to go into medicine, and wanted to be an ER doctor. Air ambulance would have been my dream job at the time. Unfortunately I realized I hated chemistry, at least with the professor at the university I was at, so I changed course. Before university I thought about joining the coast guard as a doctor too. In high school they had us take the ASVAB, and I got the highest grade in the class. Then when I went to the recruiter I took their test and only got one question wrong out of the 100 which they said meant I could pretty much take any job I wanted. I asked what the answer to the one question was because I knew I had not gotten it right and it was driving me crazy. The recruiter couldn't tell me what I'd done incorrectly, if I still knew what the question was I'd have figured out the answer long since. I just remember it was a math question and I was almost offended by my brain for letting me down. The reason I did not end up joining the coast guard was because the job I wanted was not yet open to women. The position would have been para-rescue, scuba-rescue, and pretty much all of the difficult things. It is probably a good thing I didn't try and chose university instead. With all my health problems I undoubtedly would not have been able to finish training. I have PVC's (premature ventricular contractions), epilepsy, scoliosis, and Celiac (which causes most of my seizures actually), and shortly after looking into the air force it was discovered I had a tumour in my toe caused by going up en pointe too much in ballet, and I had to have some of the bone and tendon removed. The tumour killed my ability to join the international ballet troupe I'd been accepted to as well. I am happy with my life now, being a wife, mom, and artist is the best I could ask for. I do sometimes wonder what would have happened with my life if I had been able to follow a different path though I truly never wish I had chosen differently.

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