The Amazing Parrot Paintings Of Edward Lear To Print

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Antique copyright free Parrot Paintings of Edward Lear

This post is a curated collection of some of the fabulous Parrot paintings of Edward Lear. They are some of the most beautiful and colorful illustrations of parrots ever painted.

Edward Lear is probably more famous for his nonsense poem “The Owl and The Pussycat” He actually wrote the poem for the daughter of a friend. The poet John Symonds in 1871.

He wasn’t just a poet. Edward Lear was one of the best ornithological artists of his era. At the start of his career, Lear’s main source of income was as a bird illustrator. He worked for the Zoological Society of London. 

Lear was one of the first ornithological painters to base his artwork on live birds, rather than skins.   The live parrots weren’t in the wild. He painted the parrots at London Zoo and others in private collections. When he was only 19 years old he published his first bird book, “Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots” 

There are approximately 393 different species of Parrots, also knowns as Psittacines.  Their habitat is the southern hemisphere in the subtropical regions.  Most species of parrot are found in South America and Australasia.

Parrots have always had a popular appeal. Mainly for their beautiful colorful appearance and intelligence.  They are well known for their ability to imitate the human voice.

This collection of parrot paintings are from the book “Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots” 

free parrot paintings

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The Vintage Parrot Paintings

1. Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Yes, cockatoo’s are a species of parrot! This is my favourite, as it reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in Hong Kong were amazingly we used to get these beautiful wild birds in our garden. Despite the fact, they are an endangered species.

Surprisingly, Hong Kong has become a sanctuary for Sulphur Crested cockatoos driven close to extinction from there original habitat. It’s amazing that 10% of this species of cockatoo have made the bustling city of Hong Kong their home.

It was actually through looking for a print of a sulphur cockatoo to hang on my wall that I came across this fabulous collection of parrot paintings.

Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.  Free parrot paintings

2. Lear’s Macaw

I know the parrot illustration says Hyacinth Macaw, but it is now widely believed that Lear’s identification was incorrect. This beautiful Indigo Brazilian parrot is now known as Lear’s Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari).

Lear's Maccaw

3. Uniform Parakeet – Platycercus unicolor

This parrot most likely got its name due to it being just one colour; green. Parakeet’s are small to medium parrots with long tail feathers.

4. Dwarf Parakeet Macaw – Psittacara nana

Also known as the olive throated parakeet. Due to the colour of the feathers on the birds throat. A native of Central America.

Dwarf Parrakeet Maccaw by Edward Lear 1832 s

5. Patagonian Parakeet Macaw – Cyanoliseus patagonus

Not surprising this burrowing parrot is found mainly in Argentina. Hence the name.

Patagonian Parrakeet Maccaw Edward Lear 1832

6. Blue and Yellow Macaw

This colourful South American Macaw is a popular pet. Not surprising, due to its distinctive bright blue and yellow colouring. They are great talkers and form bonds with humans. Looked after well these parrots can live to 60 years old.

When you say parrot to me, this is the one I imagine. I think it is a popular species of parrot used in film and TV.

Blue and yellow Macaw free parrot paintings

7. Salmon Crested Cockatoo – Plyctolophus rosaceus

This is one of my favourite parrot paintings. I will be framing the print for my gallery wall. It’s a large parrot with a distinctive salmon/flamingo coloured crest. Which raises when the bird is threatened or excited. Originally from Indonesia.

The Salmon-Crested Cockatoo is a very intelligent parrot. It has one of the loudest bird calls. Also, it’s a great mimic and is often featured in bird shows. However, most of the birds used for the shows have been bred in captivity. The trade in Salmon Crested Cockatoos is illegal in many countries.

Salmon Crested Cockatoo

8. Red and Yellow Macaw – Ara Macao

The most colourful bird in this collection of vintage parrot paintings. Also known as the Scarlet Macaw, a native of Central & South America. This species is not endangered.

Scarlet Macaw - free parrot paintings

9. Stanley Parakeet – Platycercus icterotis

Also known as the Western Rosella, a native of southwestern Australia. Due to the possible damage it could do to crops the parrot was classed as a vermin until 1998. Then it was given “protective native species” status.

Stanley Parakeet Edward Lear

If you liked these free vintage parrot paintings, check out some of my other free natural history illustrations.

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