PINKCRESTED HUMMINGBIRD AND THE LUNARTHID TREE

 

FEBRUARY 2022 ART PROMPT

While surveying the demon badlands, field agent Sakino has gathered new information regarding the relationship between the Pinkcrested Hummingbird and the Lunarthid Tree. Included below is an accounting of his findings:

 

"I feel I should confess that when I came out to the badlands, I wasn't sure what I was hoping to find. Wynna and Tulin were making such incredible discoveries lately, and I was striking out everywhere. It felt like everything I came across was something we already had a fair bit of data on, and I wanted to wow everyone with something brand new.

 

After so much failure, I began to lose motivation. My sleeping became erratic. Eventually, I simply gave up. I had no hope of catching up to my colleagues. In the depths of my sadness, however, I started doing something that I didn't realize I was doing - I began observing again, just like I had when I was younger. I would lie there, on the dirt, just watching. As my sleeping schedule was turned upside down, I was often awake at night, which happened to be the perfect time to observe the lively dramas of the Pinkcrested Hummingbirds.

 

At first, I simply admired them. It was difficult to stay in a bad mood with these adorable, tiny birds buzzing around with so much energy. Though it was difficult to see under the moonlight, I knew from watching them sleep in their little dens during the day that both the males and females were predominately a pale pink colour with a streak of red going from their throat to the underside of their stomach and boasted long twin tailfeathers that trailed elegantly behind them. The males I could easily pick out for their namesake - the offensively bright pink crest along the tops of their heads, making them a good half inch taller than their female counterparts. Which was a substantial size difference considering they weren't much bigger than a child's fist.

 

Pinkcrested Hummingbirds, I learned, spend most of their time awake hunting for bugs, eating nectar, making homes in tree trunks, and amusingly, fighting. Their long, sharp beaks prove to be useful both for sparring and for chiselling into wood to make their dens. At first, I assumed this fighting was over mating and territory. And I was correct in this assumption, but not in the way I believed I was.

 

As I kept observing these birds, I began to notice an emerging pattern - they only made their homes in Lunarthid Trees. Not only that, they only ate nectar from Lunarthid blossoms. I suppose that made sense considering these unique, bioluminescent flowers only bloomed and softly glowed during the night and would close up into neat little buds during the day. Point was, their quarrels were specifically over who would be able to make their home in the best Lunarthid tree, and by extension, attract the best female mates. I'm still unsure what constitutes as a 'better' mate, but the males appeared to be quite selective in who they would allow into their dens.

I do, however, have a fairly good understanding of their tree preferences. I've noticed there is less preference over the height of the tree, so long as it can support a healthy number of branches and blossoms. If you've seen these trees before, you know they can get quite top-heavy. Dozens upon dozens of branches sprout from the thick trunk, rising sideways then upwards. All of these branches are then topped with green growths that are very akin to cacti. It is on these cacti-like tips that the coveted pale, white blossoms all emerge from.

 

Though there is no preference over tree height (which ranges from around six to nine feet), there is preference over the tree width (which ranges from around four to five feet). This is because the outer layers of the trunk are softer and easier to peck through, therefore leaving the Pinkcrested Hummingbird's beak in better shape to fend off other males who wish to take over their dens.

 

Luckily, there are plenty of Lunarthid Trees in the badlands, so I'm not concerned about the Pinkcrested Hummingbird's reliance on them for their continued survival. Though I suppose it goes both ways. I'm quite certain they are the only creature that aids in the tree's nocturnal pollination efforts. An ideal example of a symbiotic relationship."

Key Features

 

Pinkcrested Hummingbird:

  • About the size of a child's fist

  • Long, sharp beaks

  • Light pink in colour with a streak of red going from their throat to the underside of their stomachs

  • Long, trailing twin tailfeathers

  • Bright pink crest along the tops of their heads (male only)

 

Lunarthid Tree:

  • 6' to 9' tall

  • 4' to 5' wide

  • Lots of branches that grow sideways then upwards

  • Branches are topped with green cacti-like growths

  • White blossoms that grow from the cacti-like growths - closed buds during the day and bloom at night with a soft bioluminescent glow

 
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HOW TO PARTICIPATE

 

To participate in the prompt, simply join our Discord and post your submission in the "prompt-submissions" channel. All past submissions will be gathered and displayed in our "prompt-gallery" channel.

Entries can take the form of sketches, paintings, sculptures, poems, short stories, photos, or even music! Choose whatever medium suits your art practice best.

At the end of every month, we will gather all prompt submissions and share them on our Twitch stream hosted every Saturday at 6pm MST.

Most importantly - we want you to have fun! We encourage you to use these art prompts as a way to stretch your creative muscles and practice your art skills.

Note: You can still participate in this prompt! Although it was released in February 2022, we accept submissions for all past prompts at any time in our Discord. Submissions for past prompts will also be included in the counting for the special Discord roles listed below.

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PARTICIPATION PRIZE

 

All participants will be granted a special Ecologist Discord role depending on how many contests they have took part in:
 
Novice Ecologist - 1 contest
Junior Ecologist - 3 contests
Senior Ecologist - 5 contests
Chief Ecologist - 7 contests