This is my submission for the Losing Altitude collaborative art book, a project showcasing art of endangered birds to raise awareness for their causes. The short-crested coquette is a critically endangered hummingbird, found only along a 25 km stretch of road in Mexico. Much of its native forests were cleared in the early 1990's for agriculture; now it's being cleared for the illegal drug trade. I chose it because it's a beautiful little bird that most people have never heard of and that we know almost nothing about. If nothing is done to help it, we never will.
This tiny sculpture is actually the size of a hummingbird (though it may not be accurate to the size of this species). I couldn't find any good stills of the male, so I had to go off illustrations, plus pictures of females and other closely related species. He is made from super sculpey clay, with apoxie sculpt in the beak for extra strength. All of the tiny feathers were carved by hand! He has glass eyes and was painted with acrylics, then sealed with a matte varnish. He has a touch of iridescent paint on the gorget. Lastly, his crest is made of saran doll hair (I'm really pleased with the effect, it's really vibrant and looks *just* like a real crest!).
Because the main threat to this species is habitat loss, I used a wood pile as the background instead of a more "natural" looking environment, because this *is* what its habitat looks like now.
I haven't done a realistic sculpture like this in a long time, it was a lot of fun!