I’m going to be drawing a parrot because it’s Draw A Bird Day. The 8th day of April has been set aside, informally, to remind us to try and enjoy life’s simple pleasures and to get away from dwelling on all the suffering that is around us. It dates back to 1943 and the actions of a little girl called Dorie Cooper.
I thought it would be fun to do, who doesn’t like drawing birds?! Actually I painted rather than drew a parrot but I’m sure that’s okay!
Parrots, of the order Psittaciformes
‘Parrot’ brings to mind the talkative bird on Long John Silver’s shoulder but it actually covers a wide range of often colourful birds from African Greys, Macaws and Cockatoos to Parakeets and many more. There are in fact over 390 species of the birds which are generally found in warmer climes.
Parrots have two features that stand out from other birds: their curved beak and their feet.
Characteristics of Parrots – Curved Beak
Large, strong and distinctively curved, the parrots beak is the reason the bird is also known as the Hookbill (bill is another word for beak). Like most birds the parrot uses its beak to manipulate objects, to kill, crush seeds. The parrot also uses its beak to climb!
Characteristics of Parrots – Zygodactyl Feet
Zygodactyl comes from a Greek word meaning ‘even’. In zygodactyl feet the animal has two toes facing forwards (digits 2 and 3) and two toes facing backwards (digits 1 and 4).
Parrots as Pets and Extinction Risk
These highly intelligent birds make for really good and rewarding pets as long as you are aware of how to care and maintain them. They have quite a long life-span (from 20 to over 80 years) so be prepared for a long term commitment.
Whilst parrots aren’t extinct, some 50% of parrot species are endangered and nearly 25% of them are critically endangered. A very sad fact is that parrots have the largest number of threatened species of all bird families. The problem is down mainly to destruction of their natural habitats and the trade in wild birds.
The painting is in Acrylics on Hot Press watercolour paper. Colours used are titanium white, quinacridone magenta, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, cadmium red light, burnt sienna, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, phthalo green and a little cobalt blue.
P.S If you want to celebrate parrots some more then it’s good to know that World Parrot Day is 31st of May.