Barry Kent MacKayArt by Barry Kent MacKay
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In this section are copies of original works of art. All of them are dedicated to helping us live according to unconditional love and compassion, which is the foundation of our peaceful means of bringing true and lasting peace to all of God's creatures, whether they are human beings or other animals.

Camiguin Hanging Parrot (Loriculus camiguinensis)

 

Barry Kent MacKay bird painting
(Artwork - 079)
Camiguin Hanging Parrot
(Loriculus camiguinensis)

There are essentially two ways in which a new species of animal is “discovered”…by which I mean, by which it becomes formally recognized and described by science. The traditional way is to simply find something that was, until then, totally unknown. This happens all the time with invertebrate animals and fish, a little less often with reptiles and amphibians and still less often with birds and mammals, although it still does happen.

But often we are finding species that were “overlooked”. In 2006 a new species of parrot was described. It is found only on Camiguin Island, in the Philippines.  But specimens of it had been collected much earlier, and mistaken for the very similar and more widely distributed Philippine Hanging Parrot, (Loriculus philippensis). Both species are small (about sparrow-sized) and bright green with patches of red and blue, but the birds found on Camiguin Island, which has a human population of about 70,000, are different in having extensive blue faces and no red on the throat. It appears that males and females are the same, unlike the Philippine Hanging Parrot, which shows some difference in colour between the sexes.

The bird is endangered. Sadly islanders keep them as “pets” by chaining them, with very small, thin chains, to perches. Researchers trying to learn more about the species said this was a “…sad sight because although the chains were relatively thin their weight must have been a torment for the delicate parrots.”

As happens with other parrot species (such as the Masked Lovebird, Agapornis personata) some individual birds lack the red and yellow colours and are coloured in shades of blue. They are shy in the wild, and eat nectar, seeds (including wild banana) fruits, berries and blossoms. They apparently make their nests in dead tree ferns. Taking them for “pets” and destruction of habitat has led to it being considered at least threatened. Field work suggests that in addition to its relatively minor differences in colour, in terms of behavior and feeding habits it is different from the more widely spread L. philippensis.

This painting is to be used on the spine of a book on newly discovered birds, so it had to be done on a vertical (up and down) axis. It is done approximately life size, in gouache watercolours, on paper.

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Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
Barry describes himself as a Canadian artist/writer/naturalist.
See his website: http://barrykentmackay.ca/

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