Friday, 2 March 2012

Avian Faces - Sulphur-crested Cockatoos

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are full of personality, it doesn't take long to recognize their cognitive skills (likened to those of a four-year-old child) when they observe with an inquisitive look upon what goes on around the feeder. When relaxed, the crest is at rest, and the feathers around the beak all fluffed up, when excited or alerted, the crest is erected and the head is moved with sudden, jerky movements which shows off the bright yellow, curled feathers.


The crest is actually a means of communication. Cockatoos are certainly renowned for imitating human words and this is due to the fact that they are very social creatures, in the wild they have long lasting relationships and to increase their bond the pair develops a 'common language' based on sounds mimicked from each other. As this is not possible in captivity for a single cocky, well, human words or other sounds are used as surrogates.


Their flight in the bright blue sky and the distant (or not so distant) echo of their screeches are a common and typical sight even around the city suburbs and parks. But perhaps, the most beautiful thing is to see them up close, in the late afternoon light which makes everything appear rather magical, with its golden warmth wrapping everything and underlining every movement brought by the wind that moves the branches and the golden-green leaves of the Jacaranda tree. A white cockatoo arriving in flight and landing gracefully on a branch, pervaded by that light is the most majestic of sights.  
-Cacatua galerita-


14 comments:

  1. Wow wow wow. Matteo this is stunning work - reminds me of Jeremy Boot ... also painting white and yellows can be so difficult and you have handled the shadows beautifully. They are such characters too - you have captured that so well and the description is so thoughtful. A gem.

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  2. ~(*o*)~ ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ·.•*•♫°•♫·.•ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ !!

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  3. Yhis is so great Matteo, so beautiful these kakatoos.
    You have captured this birds so fabulous.
    Lovely greet
    Marja

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  4. Love the composition of the 4 together. Great head studies.

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  5. Extremely delicate painting! Really shows the bird's character.
    Regards, Øivind

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  6. Fantastic! The first time I saw them in the park at the Sydney Botanical Gardens, I just couldn't believe it. Your painting is beautiful.

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  7. Your sketches depict them beautifully Matteo! My cocky's name is Danny and this is him to a T!

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  8. These look so realistic! You're always so good with the feathers.

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  9. Isn't it amazing how such beautiful birds can cut the air open with their screeching? I guess that's why they're sometimes called 'chainsaws of the sky'!!!

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  10. Your studies are exquisite :)

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  11. How wonderful for you that these amazing birds are flying free for you to see. I have only seen them in cages. They are such clowns and you have captured their expressions beautifully!

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  12. We love your watercolors and realism. Congratulations...
    Céline & Philippe

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  13. Thank you very much to all of you, always such nice and kind comments..

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