Speckled Mousebird by Maree  Clarkson

Currently unavailable for purchase

Still in my mode of sketching more…. Derwent Graphite Pencil sketch with watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

  1. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
    Life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”

    - Langston Huges

The Mouse birds are regular visitors to my garden her in Tarlton (South Africa) and my affinity to them stems from “Mousey”, whom I picked up on my lawn as a tiny, featherless little bird and who then stayed with me for several months, the most gorgeous, loving little bird you can ever imagine. She was highly intelligent, coming from wherever she was in the garden when I called with a treat of banana. An interesting fact about these little birds is that they have sand baths, like chickens, and never go in the water.

They are arboreal and scurry through the leaves like rodents, in search of berries, fruit and buds. This habit, and their legs, gives rise to the group’s English name, Mouse Bird. They are acrobatic, and can feed upside down. All species have strong claws and reversible outer toes. They also have crests and stubby bills.

The mousebirds are a small group of (possibly near passerine) birds which have no real close affinities to other groups, though they and the parrots and cockatoos (Psittaciformes) may be closer to each other than to other birds. The mousebirds are therefore given order status as Coliiformes. This group is confined to sub-Saharan Africa, and is the only bird order confined entirely to the continent of Africa. They had a wider range in prehistoric times and apparently evolved in Europe.

  1. 27th May 2011 – FEATURED in Painters Universe
  2. 30th May 2011 – FEATURED in Sketching & Drawings
  3. 2nd July 2011 – FEATURED in Wildlife of Southern Africa
  4. 8th March 2012 – FEATURED in Inspired Art

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • Janice Dunbar
    Janice Dunbaralmost 4 years ago

    This is lovely Maree, Nice work! :)

  • Aaah, thank you for that fav Janice, so pleased you like it!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Sue Nichol
    Sue Nicholalmost 4 years ago

    So simple, so delicate…so lovely!

  • Once I had the basic outline of the bird, the colour was quick and easy. Thank you for your lovely description Sue, and also for adding it to your favs!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • almaalice
    almaalicealmost 4 years ago

    Oh how lovely. Immediately I knew it was your work but thought it was a grey goaway bird, thank you so much for the history and description, sadly we missed this one because it sounds delightful. Alma x

  • They are much, much smaller than the Grey Lourie (GoAway bird) Alma, about the size of a Sparrow, so no wonder you missed them, but they would’ve been all around you! They don’t tweet, but make a sound like when you purse your lips, sucking in like when you call a dog. The Red-Faced Mousebird is much more common and their haunting triple-whistle always sends me scurrying to the garden to talk to them. Thank you for the fav, so pleased you like this one!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Linda Jackson
    Linda Jacksonalmost 4 years ago

    so neat Maree! lovely little bird! take care, Linda

  • Thank you very much Linda!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallalmost 4 years ago

    Wonderful info and a lovely sketch of a well-known bird Maree. Now I aslo know where the name comes from! ;-)

  • Thank you for your lovely comment Liz! I’m sure you have plenty of these lovely little things in your fruit trees in Bronkies!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47almost 4 years ago

    Such a pretty sketch of a pretty bird, & the text is a great read. Well done, Maree.

  • Hey, thanks Sheila, glad you enjoyed that!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Mary Sedici
    Mary Sedicialmost 4 years ago

    Featured Work- May 27th, 2011

    Your participation with works/votes it is greatly appreciated

  • This is fantastic Mary! Thank you for the feature, I’m really thrilled!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallalmost 4 years ago

    …en sommer NOG een! Whoot! whoot! Knap gedaan Maree!

  • Goeie dag en baie dankie!! Whoet whoet!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • marella
    marellaover 3 years ago

  • Absolutely wonderful news Marella, thank you!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallabout 3 years ago

    Oh, so lovely to see again!!

  • Thanks so much Ms Kendall!

    – Maree Clarkson

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