The Tasmanian Wedge-tailed eagle

Hello everybody. I hope your week is off to a good start.

I’m working on a painting which features many Tasmanian birds. I’ve painted the Tasmanian nativehens, a Cape Barren goose, Superb Fairy-wren, Scarlet robin, Pink robin and Australian magpie. I’ve drawn a Wedge-tailed eagle into the painting too. I have never painted a Wedge-tailed eagle. Just in case I can’t paint one (they look complicated and challenging to paint!!), and I don’t want to ruin what I have painted so far, I drew a trial one on an A-4 size paper.

Here’s what I have painted so far.

The all important step-out-of-your-comfort-zone start

The Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is an endemic subspecies of Tasmania. Unfortunately, it is struggling and is listed as endangered. https://nre.tas.gov.au/conservation/threatened-species-and-communities/lists-of-threatened-species/threatened-species-vertebrates/wedge-tailed-eagle

I was surprised to find that I often held my breath when I was painting this. I apply the water colour on a feather, and then wait for it not to be so wet, but not dry, to blend in the next colour into the feather. I’m sure working on small scale makes this more difficult.

more feathers … this eagle has fabulous coloured wings
That’s it for painting today.

I’m not looking forward to tackling the feet…. another challenge.

I hope that your week’s challenges are met with success.

Cheers from Patricia (PJ Paintings)

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Anthill parrot

The beautifully coloured Golden-Shouldered parrot is listed as Endangered. It is said that there are more Golden-Shouldered parrots in birdcages than in the wild. Nearly a century after the extinction of the paradise parrot, there are conservation efforts taking place to protect the survival of its cousin, the Golden-Shouldered parrot. https://www.bushheritage.org.au/species/golden-shouldered-parrot

The Golden-Shouldered parrot was found across most of the Cape York Peninsula, Australia, but now it is only found in an area of approximately 3,000 km2.

A Golden-shouldered Parrot poised for action. Photo Geoffrey Jones (BarraImaging.com.au).

The choice of the Golden-shouldered Parrots’ nesting site is unusual. They nest in conical termite mounds. The Golden-shouldered Parrots are also known as antbed or anthill parrots. They make their nests just after the wet season, when the termite mounds are soft enough for them to excavate. The mounds insulate the chicks on cold nights, but their timing must be just right – if termites are still active, they can cover over the nest entrances, or kill the eggs by cementing them to the bottom of the nest. Survival is a difficult business!

Grazing by cattle and feral pigs exacerbates the plight of the Golden-shouldered Parrots. They require suitably old (30-50 years) termite mounds to nest in. As such, the loss of, or damage to these crucial nesting sites has an impact on their population.

This Golden-shouldered Parrot that I painted is part of a larger painting. I painted a variety of Australian birds in one painting, but I wanted this blog post to feature and focus just on the Golden-shouldered Parrots. How can you not but relish that gorgeous turquoise colour!! It’s an amazing bird, as all birds are.

The Golden-shouldered parrot

I hope that you are keeping well and safe.

Warm regards, Patricia (PJ) Hopwood-Wade

http://www.pjpaintings.com