Nothing makes me quite as sad as birds that went extinct within the past 100 years. The Carolina parakeet was the only parrot native to North America, and the last one died in 1918. Their extinction was due to habitat destruction and hunting. Their feathers were much sought after for decorations in women's hats. With the demand for farmlands, much of their habitat was cut down. These two factors resulted in their decline, and eventual extinction.
This painting was especially challenging, since there are obviously no living Carolina Parakeets to study. I had to use photographs of skins to understand their coloration, and reference the illustrations of artists such as John James Audubon to get a feel for these birds' behavior.
The tree they are perched in is the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata), which was another species to meet its destruction in the early 20th century. These trees went from being one of the most plentiful trees in the eastern United States, to being wiped out, with populations being sparse in other parts of the country.
Watercolor and a bit of acrylic on illustration board, 8 X 10 inches