Rosetsu, like his teacher Maruyama Ōkyo (1733–1795), painted an enormous range of subjects for a variety of patrons. This painting showcases his ability to meld observation of the natural world and painterly convention with characteristic panache. Here, a diverse flock of birds, including bush warblers, java sparrows, and mynahs, chatters on the lower branches while a single scarlet parakeet perches disinterestedly above. The composition adapts a Chinese painting theme known as “one hundred birds,” paying witty homage to the phoenix that typically appears by substituting the mythical bird with a highly realistic depiction of a parakeet. In the 18th century, parakeets were imported to Japan from Southeast Asia as exotic curiosities, and both Rosetsu and Ōkyo painted them from life.