Saturday, August 2, 2008

Malachite Kingfisher

The Malachite Kingfisher is one of about 13 kingfisher species found in Southern Africa. This water colour was painted from a photo I used as a reference. At first I was not sure which of the kingfisher species it was because of the black beaks. The adult malachite has a red beak and after a bit of research I found that the juveniles have black beaks. So these must still be juvenile birds.

These small birds are fairly common around slow moving water and generally sit on low perches with their beaks down watching for fish or small crustaceans. When a fish is spotted it drops head first into the water and surfaces again immediately with fish in beak and devours it while sitting on its perch. They can also hover just above the water in a stationary position and then dive into the water to catch their fish. Their nests are normally tunnels in sand banks not necessarily close to water.

Other than the Kiwi, the Tui bird and Kia parrot I don't know much about NZ Birds and it will be interesting to photograph and research some while I am there. The medium will probably change to oil painting again as I left all my oil paints there on my last visit. Airlines seem to get stricter by the day when it comes to weight and the 20kg allowance hardly allows for much more the the clothes I will be taking with so all my art material will be staying behind.

Hopefully I will have time for one more post tomorrow and an opportunity to reply to the many comments and emails I have received in my absence, then I will probably be off line for about a week while I get organised on the other side.


durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Caroline,

I too am away from my base and into a country which was devastated by a cyclone a few months back. It's so primitive where we are, no electricity - just batteries for night light and electric fans. It also takes 6 to 12 hours by boat and land travel to get to the capitol, but even there, power is intermittent and could disappear anytime.

What I do is save items on a CD and write my posts and comments on the CD for my secretary in our home office to re-encode into my site , or post comments on sites I visited. But there are so few sites I can visit on account of the dial-up nature of the internet service. I've been here since July 9th, and I devour all the CDs available in the city's stores.

Sorry about the death in the family. My mother also died from Alzheimer's disease, but she lived long after it was diagnosed. I made a post about her last May for Mother's day.

This painting of the malachite kingfisher is almost like the scene (again) in Animal Planet. You do have real talent and exquisite skill. It's nice to know you've really spent time to develop this gift.

The Kiwi and parrot species in New Zealand are perfect subjects for you. If you can execute paintings in watercolor, oil would be a cinch. I hope you could post some soon. The sight of rotting corpses and stench is blurring my memories of the beauty in this world. This is further exacerbated by the ugliness of the ruling group in this country and the very painful emotional attachments we are developing with some of those whom we are assisting as victims of the disaster. The biggest tragedy and disaster for them is still their government. Can't write about them yet as it will endanger our team.

I don't know when this can be posted on your site but my secretary is a far faster encoder than I could ever be. Stay well and good luck and good vines in NZ. :-) --Durano, done!

DJ said...

I love the colors of these birds!
So sorry to hear about your dad.

The Success said...

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Artbeat said...

DJ Thanks for the kind words and glad you like the painting.

Artbeat said...


As always its a pleasure to hear from you.Things must be a little tough for you right now, and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, specially seeing that you are on a humanitarian mission.

I understand that posting is difficult for you right now and your efforts to get articles published serve as an inspiration and challenge to us lesser mortals.

I trust the effort will be well rewarded and I know I for one always look forward to what you have to say.

Shiva said...

brillant blog
brilliant pics.
The name of the blg's so cool
ArtBEat Rocks!!!


Ruthi said...


You are a good painter.I have a passion for painting too and was able to paint a few but I have no intention of doing it professionally. It's just a hobby for me. I love your blog and your paintings as well. Take care.

Mike said...

Love your art! I'm also an artist with a passion for birds. Hope to see more.

Leet said...

Nice painting
I always like painting
I add my painting in my blog
Just check it :)

Leet Gallery

Drunken Dragon said...

Nice post.
I like your blog. I'm looking for unique blog for my blogroll, would you like to xch4nge l1nk with me? Thank you so much

The Mommy and Me Boutique said...

Hi, Caroline, Just a note to let you know that you have received the Brillante Blog Award. Please go over to my blog: for further information. Thanks

secret said...

luv that artwork

Artbeat said...

Shiva, Ruthi,Mike,Leet,drunken Dragon, mommy and me and secret.

Thanks for the comments.
First let me say I love painting and better than that I get to choose what I want to paint and right now I paint whatever tickles my fancy at the time.