Sharing sacred space - sacred kingfisher
Pastel on Colourfix paper
42 x 42 cm.
Sacred kingfishers are gorgeous little birds which are quite common in the open forest areas where I live. They hunt for small skinks, frogs, all sorts of insects and even small birds and mice. The first idea you usually have that a scared kingfisher is nearby is its very distinctive, high-pitched pip,pip,pip,pip call which is repeated incessantly. Usually you will find the bird perched on a high branch with an open view to the surrounding area and any potential supper. They tend to hunt from that perch and may return to the same place time and time again over lengthy periods.
The actual bird in this pastel painting is a bit different in that it accompanied me up and down the beach location of a wilderness colony of Australian sealions on a recent field trip. That was unusual enough since it stayed fairly close and appeared quite unafraid, but it turns out the sacred kingfisher is extremely rare on Kangaroo Island with only about 3 recorded sightings....and probably none as intimate as mine. Reading up on their rare occurrences on KI, I felt especially chuffed to think this little jewel of a bird had blessed me with his company for an hour or so.