These are magnificent frigate birds. During the breeding season the males puff out their throats a bit like toads to create incredible displays. But the way in which the females seem to snuggle up to these inflated red chests is so tender. I wanted to capture the intimacy of this ritual in my painting, above.
And the painting below of a pair of a pair of blue footed boobies was the result of hours spent watching these comical birds performing their courting ritual,which in contrast is quite dispassionate.
Their name comes from the Spanish word for clown, bobo, and that's exactly what they look like as they pick their way across the sands in those oversized baby blue flippers. They behave as though they don't really know what those huge blue flippers on the ends of their legs are!
The video below of a pair courting is interesting because of the listless way in which the male offers the female a stick. It's almost as though they can't really be bothered!
I wanted to capture this indifference alongside the comical element of these birds in the mood of my painting.