Saturday, August 30, 2014

I've started my first painting in oils based on the spring study trip to Papua New Guinea. Brown Sicklebill was one of the 10 bird of paradise species that I could study really well. It occurs at higher elevations, and we spent 1 week in the suitable habitat. Each morning I walked the 1 hour trek to the ridge above our camp, where I could find these birds together with another BoP species, the Stephanie's Astrapia.
The usual views were like this, birds feeding in the canopy:

Its distinctive call helped to locate the birds (can be heard from 1 km). It mostly resembles a machine gun, and there are stories from the 2nd World War, when the occupying Japanese army got shocked by these calls. They thought they were under fire. Check out my video for the call:

We had rain every day at these higher elevations:

 The first layer of the painting (my elder son's drawing of this bird to the right):

Developing the mossy branches (typical habitat of the bird):