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.

White-throated Laughingthrush (Pterorhinus albogularis)

White-throated Laughingthrush
(Artwork - 166)
White-throated Laughingthrush (Pterorhinus albogularis)

When I was in my teens and my mother was doing an early version of what is now called wildlife rehabilitation, her main specialty being birds, the house was full of orphaned and injured wild birds being cared for, to be released if possible, otherwise given permanent homes. That prompted a family acquaintance who happened to be an aviculturist – a collector of wild birds kept in an aviary, a more common “hobby” then than now – decided to give his “collection” to us. They were mostly birds native to tropical Asia and among them was a beautiful White-throated Laughingthrush. He was full of buoyant energy and curiosity and reminded me more of jays, in terms of his behaviour, than of any other of the native birds with which I was familiar, and in fact we kept him in a walk-in aviary with a jay from South America. Both birds were extremely engaging. Back then laughingthrushes were placed in the family of birds known as Babblers, the Timaliidae, but they are now put in another family, the Leiothrichidae, a much smaller group that includes all the laughingthrushes. They are not thrushes, and they are entirely restricted to the eastern hemisphere, mostly tropical and subtropical Asia, with this species found in and near the lower Himalayas and Himalayan foothills, occurring in subtropical or tropical moist montane forests in parts of Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan (where it is endangered, possibly extirpated), Tibet and Vietnam. In some places they can be quite abundant.

Unfortunately for those caught up in the exotic bird trade, like the “pet” bird I fondly remember from nearly sixty years ago, they are gregarious, maintaining flocks even when nesting. Those nests are shallow to deep cup shaped made of various types of leaves, sticks and grasses. Other than moving to lower elevations in winter they are not really migratory, and they are fairly omnivorous in their choice of food, mostly invertebrates but also various seeds and berries, and possibly the odd small vertebrate.

This oil painting is 12 X 9 inches, on a compressed wood (acid-free Masonite) panel, and is approximately life size.

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