#313 Santa Marta Sabrewing

Critically Endangered

There is only one photo of these that is for sure this kind of sabrewing. It is essentially a head shot taken while someone held it for banding. The assumption based on the last survey was that there are fewer than 50 mature birds left. The problem is that it is pretty much impossible to tell for certain how many there are. They live at very high elevation, mostly along one ridge, in the Santa Marta mountains of Columbia. Not only are they remote, making it difficult to get to them, they also migrate. They generally spend about half of the year at 16,000 feet elevation, and then migrate down for the other half at around 4,000-6,000 feet. The biggest threat they have is habitat loss, which can cause fragmentation of the population and lower genetic diversity, a huge problem if there are so few left.

I know I am only painting animals for this project, but I have been known to draw people. Honestly, photographing, drawing, and painting people is very much not my favourite thing to do. Animals do not get offended if you don't do a flattering portrayal of them, but people can. I do not have many examples of my human portrait work. I had the one and only watercolour painting I did in university, but the girl I painted it of asked to be able to give it to her mother. This is a speed sketch I did of Victor Hugo many many years ago (maybe in 1999?). He is one of my favourite authors. I might ought to draw all of my favourites. This took me 5-10 minutes is all, just white and black pastels. If I had taken more time I would have done more than hint at his clothing. Obviously I had to work directly from a photo that was not mine since he died in 1885. I do not copy any photos when doing the animals, but you cannot avoid that when drawing a person if you want it to like them.



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