Barry Kent MacKayArt by Barry Kent MacKay
Art and Photo Presentation

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.

Yellow-backed Oriole (Icterus chrysater chrysater)

bird painting Barry Kent MacKay
(Artwork - 078)
Yellow-backed Oriole
(Icterus chrysater chrysater)

There are (depending on taxonomic decisions) nearly thirty different species of birds in the genus, Icterus, the birds we call orioles. All are found in the western hemisphere, mostly in the tropics and subtropics, and are not to be confused with the Orioles of the eastern hemisphere, which are unrelated.
Males of most Icterus species are coloured black and orange, or burnt-orange, or greenish-yellow, or yellow, or chestnut, quite a few having white wing bars or wing patches. They have slender beaks, distinctive voices, and a taste for both insects and other small, invertebrate animals, and fruit and nectar. They are often bold and well-known where they are found. I would love to paint them all.

This painting shows the Yellow-backed Oriole, which is found from southern Mexico, including the Yucatan Peninsula, south as far as northern South America, with a large gap in its range, through much of Central America. Not surprisingly it has been divided into four subspecies. The bird I painted is an adult male from El Salvador, and is in the nominate race. It is a wide-ranging species, some found in misty highlands while others occur in the hot, tropical lowland zones, often occurring in pine-oak savannahs or in relatively dry scrubland. I have shown the bird in a wild avocado.

Typical for members of the genus, the nest is a hanging basket of interwoven strands of vegetation often suspended beneath the frond of a palm.
The painting is approximately life-size, and is done in acrylics on compressed hardboard, but with a little gouache watercolour added. It should be noted that the intensity of the yellow or orange in these birds can vary, perhaps in part due to diet.

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Copyright © Barry Kent MacKay
Barry describes himself as a Canadian artist/writer/naturalist.
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