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.

Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)

Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)
(Artwork - 136)
Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)

Growing up in southern Ontario, the only species of oriole in the genus Icterus I saw was the Baltimore Oriole (I. galbula). To the young child I then was, the orange, black and white male Baltimore Oriole was almost supernaturally beautiful, but as I matured I began to learn there were many other lovely orioles in the genus in other parts of North America, and in Central and South America, and the West Indies, most having either bright orange, or yellow, colouring, but there was a notable exception, and it was native to eastern North America, the Orchard Oriole. Alas, I was at the very northern edge of its range.

For several years as a young adult I was only ever able to find females and first year male Orchards. I saw plenty of specimens, photographs and paintings of them, but it took a trip to Colorado for me to finally see the actual bird. But then the floodgates opened, and I've been at Point Pelee, Ontario, at the right time when the number of Orchard Orioles at least equaled the number of Baltimores. A pair sometimes nests in Milne Park, Markham, near my home.

Not only are the areas that are orange on the Baltimore a deep, rich chestnut colour on the Orchard, but the Orchard is smaller, more delicate, and in a sense more refined and elegant. Both species are found throughout much of eastern North America, west to the mountains, but with the natural nesting range of the Baltimore extending well up into parts of central and northern Canada. Orchards winter in Central and extreme northern South America.
The female Orchard is also elegant, with a blend of yellows, light olive-browns and greyish-buff colours. One year old males are similar to the female, but with black throats. Typically they eat insects and spiders and, seasonally, fruit. Their nest is typically a densely woven, pouch-like structure suspended within forked twigs.

The painting is approximately life-size and is 8 by 10 inches, in acrylics, on a pre-gessoed panel. ($350.00)

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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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