Saturday, February 24, 2018


I've always wanted to make a Menagerie bird.

Not like the Chicken or Penguin or even the Peacock, which are mostly earthbound, but an actual bird-bird - soaring, swooping aerodynamic creatures that rule the skies. So I shortlisted some: robin, blue jay, bald eagle, even an owl.

But I wanted color. Lots of it. 

Macaws, then, or parakeets. But those were slender waif-birds that perched tall and straight, not the stocky raptor-shapes that might work better for Menagerie. 

So I made a Toucan. There were many varieties to choose from, and I picked the colorfulest. This is the keel-billed toucan, the national bird of Belize (so says the internet).

Oh, he was so, so much fun to make.

Toucans have short, compact bodies, which make them perfect for a Menagerie adaptation. This one was mostly black, with a yellow crest that had some red detail on the belly.

Then, the wings: sweeping and full, but contoured with darts

to curve over the back of the bird. Took a while to draft and test them out for size, shape, drape (first time I've used that word in stuffedtoydom), but worth every minute.

The tail was three feathers - white with black tips on the upperside,

and red-and-black underneath.

The bill was a riot of hues - bright green and orange, tipped with red, its underside accented with blue, and ringed black around the face.

Finally, bright blue feet.

Definitely one of my favorites

and easily adapted into hawks, eagles, vultures. . . 

the sky's the limit, really.


(Sorry, couldn't resist.)


  1. that toucan is adorable... perhaps you could try making a puffin someday, they have bright colored bills and markings?

  2. This is SO gorgeous! I love him! All those colours

  3. He's fantastic! And I love Alison's Puffin idea.


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