Wildlife has always been a huge influence in my work.
I recently went on a trip to Costa Rica and was CRAZY inspired by all the wildlife (even the bugs).
But the Macaws were the most memorable to see. (Even though I only saw a glimpse of them.)
After driving to the southern part of Costa Rica, for the first time, saw two Macaws flying.
Immediately, I scanned the ground below them to see if there was some human handler they were flying to. Then it hit me, duh, these macaws are wild and just flying around. This is the rainforest after all.
The longer I stayed the more I learned about them, the more fascinated I became with them.
When we see a picture of a Macaw, most of us tend to think “pet” or “in a cage”.
What's so great, is that they usually fly in pairs, creating a more of a color burst in the sky.
Their loud calls, squawks, and screams echo through the forest canopy.
COOL FACTS: Macaws mate for life. They not only breed with, but also share food with their mates and enjoy mutual grooming. In breeding season, mothers incubate eggs while fathers hunt and bring food back to the nest.
Unfortunately, there are several species of macaws in danger. Many of these birds are trapped for the pet trade. Their rainforest homes are disappearing at an alarming rate due to deforestation. Making way for the mono crop, palm oil.
So what's helping these feathered friends survive?
This is where The Ara Project comes in…
Over 30 years ago Margot and Richard Frisius settled in Rio Segundo de Alajuela, Costa Rica. Establishing a conservation center for parrots, Amigos de las Aves, now known as The Ara Project. This conservation center is on a mission for helping stop the alarming decline of these macaws in Costa Rica.
How are they helping? By raising and releasing macaws back into the wild –
Starting in the late 1990s, The Ara Project has released hundreds of captive-raised macaws.
Unwanted pets also arrive in poor condition. Although these birds aren't suitable to return to the wild, they have the opportunity to reproduce. With the hope that their offspring could return to the wild and fly free.
Many of these released birds are still flourishing and nesting in the wild. Releases currently happen in the Punta Islita area of Costa Rica. Where a growing population of the macaws are establishing.
All thanks to the efforts of The Ara Project.
The art print
Based on my travels through Costa Rica and seeing macaws for the first time in the wild, I created this art print:
In every drawing, it's my goal to capture the awesome lines and motion of each animal. Aiming to make it look like it's moving on your wall.
When you collect this print, I will donate 25% of the proceeds to The Ara Project.
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