Masked Water-Tyrant – Fluvicola nengeta
“I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could. ” John James Audubon
Poza Honda Ecuador – These highly-active and perpetually-happy Masked Water-Tyrants served as good-will ambassadors in every location I’ve lived in Ecuador. Attired year ’round in crisp white and black/brown, they chirp, chatter, dance and build nests – always near the water. At Casa Loca along Rio Jama, they foraged along the mud flats at low tide; in Mindo they nested in locations just above the water, and now at Poza Honda they thrive in an ever-changing playground of water hyacinths.
While I worked on the Common Tody Flycatcher study, the Water-Tyrants tolerated my presence; ignoring the artist, they frolicked and provided ample poses for my growing collection of photos. Painting these birds would be challenging yet rewarding.
Working at night from reference photos, I also worked during the day by the water’s edge. The bi-polar moods of the weather often sent me scampering up the hill to protect the painting!
Within a week, water levels leaped to maximum levels, which brought those handsome birds (and the invasive water hyacinths) closer and closer to the human’s turf. They provided a grand assortment of poses – as if to benefit no one except the human that studied them! Continue reading