Pet Portraits & Wildlife Art
Below is some information about the wildlife often found in my paintings. It gives the viewer insight into their amazing lives and helps people to appreciate these wild mammals and birds more, and building awareness as to the habitat destruction occuring at an alarming rate, and ways in which we can all help preserve our Wilderness and it's inbabitants.
The Tawny Frogmouth lives in forests and woodlands.
During the day they sit motionless and upright on branches or on the ground, head tilted up and eyes closed to slits. The tufts of bristly feathers around their broad, triangular beak help to break up their outline and their plumage, which is finely streaked and mottled in grey, brown and reddish brown, resembles tree bark in the dappled forest light. So perfect is their camouflage that a Frogmouth roosting n a tree looks just like a tree branch. If this disguise is penetrated, however, t adopts a threatening pose, fluffing out it's feathers, displaying their large orange eyes and opening their beaks in a wide frog-like gape to reveal a startling yellow throat. At dusk, Frogmouths begin hunting food. From a perch they watch the ground for insects, small frogs and lizards, planning down on them on their long, rounded wings. All Australian Frogmouths are spring and summer breeders, pairs forming lifelong bonds and occupying the same small patch of forest throughout the year. The pair build their nest together, breaking twigs into small pieces and weaving them into a platform in the fork of a tree. They also share incubation. Tawny Frogmouths are common throughout Australia wherever there are trees and space to hunt for food, though they are scarcer in dense rainforest and the sparse interior. Frogmouths are so well camouflaged that their 'ooom-ooom' call is often the only clue to their whereabouts. They resort to aggressive behaviour, feathers fluffed out and beak wide open, only when their camouflage is unsuccessful. They lay up to four eggs, which hatch into downy chicks after a month. Parents share all the nesting duties, including incubation, brooding and feeding of their young. After the breeding season Frogmouth families often perch side by side on the same branch during the day.
Scientific name: Cacutua Sanguinea
Little Corellas are mostly white, with a fleshy blue eye-ring and a pale rose-pink patch between the eye and bill. In flight, a bright sulphur-yellow wash can be seen on the underwing and under tail. The sexes are similar in plumage, and young birds look like the adults, but are slightly smaller.Little Corellas are widespread throughout Australia, although large gaps separate some populations. The Little Corella is the most widely distributed of the three Corella species found in Australia. The Western Corella is confined the extreme south-west of Western Australia, and the Long-billed Corella is found in the south-east.Habitat: Little Corellas often form large flocks, especially along watercourses and where seeding grasses are found.
Scientific name: Vombatus ursinus (=bear-like wombat)
The Common wombat is the size of a large, stocky dog. A ground living burrower, with a rounded outline, large head, naked nose and short ears. Brown to grey course fur. Similar species are Northern and Southern Hairy-nosed wombats are very rare, they have softer fur and hairy noses.Found in Coastal ranges, forest and woodland from northeastern NSW to southeastern SA.Habits: Night active and solitary. Several burrows will be dug in an area. Eats native grasses, shrubs, roots. Female carries one young in her rear-opening pouch for 6 months; it follows her for another 11 months.Not protected in some areas of eastern Victoria. Major burrows may be up to 20cm long, with several chambers and entrances.
Scientific name: Sarcophilus harrisii ( = Harris's flesh eater)
Black scavenger with white markings on chest and rump. Looks like a medium sized bulky dog. Found all over Tasmania, especially in northeast. Spends day in den and from dusk to dawn hunts for dead animals, insects, small mammals. The Devil can climb trees. 2-4 young are born in April, carried in rear-opening pouch for 16 weeks, then left in den. Their young go on their own after 40 weeks. Largest living marsupial carnivore. Lived on mainland until around 400 years ago. Group feeding at carcass may squabble loudly. The devil is not dangerous to humans or their animals.
Scientific name: Platycercus caledonicus
Other names: Tasmanian Rosella, Mountain Rosella. Found only in Tasmania. They live in coastal and mountain eucalypt forests, woodlands and scrubs, temperate rainforests and forest edges from sea level to 1500 metres, avoiding open fields.