Rose-crowned fruit dove – nature study

Work in progress – ink outlines for the rose-crowned fruit dove study.

I’m still ‘getting to know the neighbours’ in Beechmont. I mean the plant and animal neighbours! And I suspect this might take a lifetime, what with the amazing and beautiful diversity up here, and the extensive Lamington National Park right on out doorstep.

This is the first in perhaps a series of bird studies, in an attempt to get more familiar with the birds we catch glimpses of in and around where we live. It was was inspired by the rose-crowned fruit dove who has been visiting the native olive tree (Notelaea ?longifolia*) behind our shed. I’ve drawn the bird close-ups from photos, the native olive from life, and the sketch down the bottom of the pages is from memory.

I’m a great advocate of drawing directly from nature – you can observe, and try to capture, details, behaviour, patterns and light that are often missed or distorted by photos. But it can be very hard to get a good look at the fine features of living wild animals. By studying photos, the next time I see that critter in the wild I will be able to interpret what I see with greater clarity. That’s the aim, anyway 🙂

Finished journal page after watercolours were added. Plus those native olive fruits!
Detail of the rose-crowned fruit dove study.


  • I now think the native olive is probably Notelaea venosa, but it doesn’t really fit either description. However, Ray tells me the taxonomy of this group of plants is under revision, so maybe my confusion is justified this time

8 Responses

    • Paula Peeters

      Thanks Michael! I hope you are keeping cool, and had a happy festive season.

  1. Nicole Matthews

    “Getting to know the neighbours” can take years and years, or so I’ve found! I’ve just been discovering a family of collared sparrowhawks that have been nesting in our neighbours’ yard, and finally listening in properly to the cicadas around the house thanks to the Great Cicada Blitz citizen science project. I suspect you will be at it for a long time! But what a treat to see this beautiful bird – I am very envious!

    • Paula Peeters

      Hi Nicole, wow, one of the most memorable times I’ve seen a collared sparrowhawk was when my feisty bantam Hetty had one bailed up in the corner of the chicken coop. She had a brood of tiny fluffy chickens at the time, and they were all hidden under the straw. I actually had to rescue the sparrowhawk, who I think might have come off second best! Isn’t it great that we can spend pleasant years watching nature slowly reveal herself? That’s my reality TV 🙂

      • Nicole Matthews

        Ah yes, my neighbours kept telling me that my (hefty dual utility, adult) chooks were underthreat by our local family of serial killers. I would love to have seen the “chickenhawks” try!! Yep, you can’t beat the 3D tv in the backyard!

  2. Sue Southwood

    I can see you don’t need to travel far to get a great eye view of nature…wonderful drawings.