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Welcome to my art blog from Tasmania, Australia. I post a little on my various art projects while also working in plant genetics. For more, please try the links to my various art pages or email me at silvergumstudio@yahoo.com.au. Thank you for visiting!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Birds of Sudan


These are a few of the birds that I hope to include in illustrations for 'When I was a girl in Sudan'.
The elegant black, white and red wading birds are saddle-billed storks - spectacular large birds found in many parts of Africa.  Alarmingly, they grow to about my height (150 cm), although this is mostly leg (on them - not me), and have a wingspan of almost 3 metres.  I was particularly smitten with their red knees, or should that be elbows? They build huge stick nests in trees and, like other storks, are mute but clatter their bills.

The owl is based on the spotted eagle owl, which has distinctive ear tufts.  They mate for life, hoot musically, and bathe regularly! They like to go out in thunderstorms and spread their wings for a rinse-off.  In Sudanese folklore the owl is linked with sorcery or may be a messenger.
 Lastly there's the weaverbird which I've talked about previously - a wonderful architect, the size of a sparrow, but a dreadful nuisance to farmers.  Although it features in both the Sudan books as a pest, I can't help admiring it, both for its masterly approach to nest-building and its cheerful good looks.


  1. Lovely! The weaver is my favourite. Your work is going ahead exponentially, Good career move Gaysie Galah!

  2. Coincidentally, I have a friend who's long thought of making a book of the birds of (his boyhood in) Sudan! I'll have to direct him here. He'll be happy to your work.

  3. I love the storks! I absolutely love big water birds, which is one of the few things I miss from Florida. It would not be uncommon to see great blue herons, egrets and ibises, throughout the neighborhood. The university campus had a pair, and eventually a family, of sandhill cranes. Geez, now you've made me want to go draw lots of large wading birds.

    Your painting of the storks is just terrific. It's so serene. They should hang it in yoga parlors. Sell prints!