21st September 2021 Dr. Beena
Hello everyone. I hope all are fine and safe. Today’s painting is about the Blue Bird-of-Paradise. I painted this some time ago and forgot all about it☹. If you wonder why I chose to paint this unusual bird? Well, I was drawn by that fabulous blue colour of the flanks. Won’t you agree😊? I had no clue about this bird and did some research. It turns out that it is declared a Vulnerable species due to habitat loss from forest clearance by human encroachment. Now let me share what I learnt about this beautiful bird.
It is one of the larger birds of the Bird of Paradise species. The male species has this beautiful blue colour and the two wires. They are frugivorous (eat fruits) but do eat some animals like insects and reptiles. The male tends to live very high on the trees and only comes down to earth when he needs to forage animals. Hmm, isn’t that interesting😊😉? By the way, he eats alone ☹. On the other contrary, the female spends her time with her chicks and females of the same and other species. Wow, it is getting more exciting😊😊. The female is socially more adept, don’t you think so? On the other hand, the male does a fascinating mating dance hanging upside down with that rust-coloured feathers spread out like an apron and making all kinds of noises to attract the female. I find this hilarious😊😊. The hard work that the male has to accomplish before he can win the female😊.
Why am I talking about silence? Any of you ever gone trekking in a forest? If you have, you know that we can sense the stillness of the forest and occasionally hear the sounds of birds and other creatures. Did you know that silence is healthy for our mind and body? My mother used to tell me about the need to enjoy the silence of the early morning. She wakes up at 3am, makes a cup of tea, and savours the drink in the silence of the morning. I never understood her philosophy☹. Now, with the lockdown and the constant barrage of gloomy news, I seek silent moments. I will try to be quiet for few minutes each day. Practising such moments will help calm our minds, lower our blood pressure, and increase our focus and cognition. We will learn to be mindful. Why is it important? It will improve our profound thoughts, our relationships, increase our creativity and communications skills.
Now, this blue-bird of paradise lives in a forest. Both genders behave so differently. I do not have answers to the reasons. However, I thought there was some similarity with human beings too😊. The forest provides that silence and stillness. This would help the male look for his prey as he will be razor-sharp in his focus. Maybe he needs to practise his dance daily😊😊. The female with the socially adapt skills does not need the help of the male. She builds her nest and takes care of her chicks on her own. Now that is a truly independent female😊😊.
I love trekking in the forest. I know it is not easy for everyone to find a forest. Nevertheless, you can seek quiet moments in your garden or park or maybe the kitchen😊. Try practising silent moments and see if it helps. I would love to hear from our readers on their views on this musing😊.