‘ Scarlet in the green – scarlet robin ’
Pastel on Supertooth paper
33 X 20 cm.
The brilliant red breast of the male scarlet robin (according to Birdlife Australia) captured the attention of the Indigenous Noongar people of south-western Australia, who considered the red coloration of the robin’s breast to have been stained by blood. The robin is said to have been punched on the nose (or beak) by a pugnacious Willie Wagtail, causing it to bleed. When the blood trickled down from the wounded beak, it is said to have discoloured the robin’s breast.
I don’t believe a Willie Wagtail would be that mean but it is a cute story and I love that the indigenous people have this storyline to connect them directly to our fellow creatures. This little fellow was following me around the scrub on Kangaroo Island in the hope I would scare up some insects for his lunch.