Black Robins: from left to right: Old Blue (mother and grandmother of the species).

Crunch (the only surviving Black Robin chick from the first foster parenting program between the Chatham Island Grey Warbler and the Black Robin).

Old Yellow (the last remaining fertile male before the beginning of the foster program).

Baby Blue, and Pani (named after a wildlife officer).

The history of the Black Robins’ survival have played an important role in Merrilyn Jaquiery’s fine art career.

In 1986 World Wildlife Fund New Zealand commissioned Merrilyn to paint one of the last remaining female Black Robins named Old Blue.

The painting Old Blue was auctioned in Christchurch in 1986 by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and sold for $11,500. All proceeds from the auctioned painting along with the 250 limited edition prints of Old Blue, raised, approximately $40,000 for WWF.NZ. Today the Black Robin is now off the perilous endangered list.

In 1988 Merrilyn met with Wildlife officer Don Merton (QSM) to plan a series of Black Robin paintings for a Limited Edition Calendar commissioned by Allen Calendars. They chose five of the original birds that were instrumental in their survival and Merrilyn has chosen the same five for the (2017) painting ‘Grace’.