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Harpy Eagle

Some Harpy Eagle studies based on the model in the bird gallery at work. The feather is a wing primary. Harpy eagles are rare in Belize but are currently being reintroduced through a long running breeding program. Sharon Matola, founder of the Belize zoo provides sporadic updates as to the eagle's progress. I met Matola once when I was a child. She had a 12 foot long boa constrictor draped around her neck!



A coloured pencil drawing based on a note tied to one of the Keel Billed Toucan specimen's feet. The note was included as reference, since when the bird dies, the bill loses it's fantastic colour. As far as I can tell the note was written by Blancaneux.

More dark carmine at tip. A long orange mark with 1/2 in of face. (As in dried skin). A black line round bill at base. Narrow cerulean line between the black at base. The orange along cutting edge of base keel of mandible sky blue near the carmine tip. Rest of (mandible?) clear yellow. More greenish near base.
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Drew the keel billed toucan today. Most of the colour drained from its' beak and feet. There was a detailed note about what the colour was like when it was alive on one of the tags. I copied it down in that pad sitting next to my sketchbook.

Specimens from Belize and Costa Rica.



A 10 minute sketch with Prismacolor pencil of a Keel-Billed-Toucan. You may wonder why I'm sketching such a colourful animal in monochrome. The answer is before I start experimenting with colour, I want to get a feel for the shape and anatomy of the animal.

The Keel-Billed Toucan has been called the bird with the world's most colourful beak. It's also Belize's national bird and appears on the belizean currency.

I'm wondering if the specimens will have retained that colour. (Not sure what methods of preveseration the museum have used yet for the dry specimens, or how through they are.)

I'm wondering this because this is a Keel Billed Toucan skull, and when you compare the live bird with the skull, a lot of the colour seems to have drained from it, which implies to me that blood vessels in the vascular layer are responsible for the brightness.

More on toucan beaks here.

x-posted to belizebirdnhm

Practice in Monochrome

Getting a feel for Toucans, since they are the first birds I'll be drawing. This is a Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus).

As always you can click on it for a larger version.

List of bird specimens I propose to draw

Subject to change. Also pics of the art materials I'll be using.