Archive for August, 2021

The Mistletoe bird and Silver Eyes bird are native to Australia.

I did these two drawings 12 years ago while spending 3 months in Australia/New Zealand.

Mistletoe Bird

The Mistletoe guy is a tiny mistletoe-feeding specialist (frugivore) who dines on the fruit of the mistletoes which grow on the millions of miles of Eucalyptus trees. He is known for the efficient way he poops on the tree limbs and spreads the “seeds of love” (reference to our habit of kissing under the mistletoe).

This story was told to me by a local farmer.  He said the farmers shoot the birds because “they spread that parasite, the mistletoe, with their sticky poop.”  He apologized when he saw I was shocked and then said, “We don’t do that anymore … that was done in the 1930’s.”  There were many birds that day.

Silver Eyes 8″X11″ Silverpoint on Paper

In another part of Australia there were birds called “Silver Eyes” flitting thru the trees. They have a distinctive circle of white feathers around their eye defined by a fine black line. They fly in flocks and are so tiny they can fly thru the netting the orchardists spread over their crops … thereby they are seen as “pests” although they perform the valuable service of eating vast quantities of insects.         

Let us live in harmony with the creatures around us!

Now … “SILVERPOINT” … a type of drawing in which an artist uses thin pieces of silver wire held in a stylus to make marks on paper.” It was used by scribes and craftsmen since ancient times, and was favored by Durer and Da Vinci.  The discovery of graphite deposits in England in the 1500’s hastened the decline of the silverpoint technique. A pencil is easier to use!  I was sure you needed to know this trivia.

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