2008/06/30

BBBB - Between Birthdays Birding Book!



It has been a while since my last post. Between work and thesis I had no time to do some birding and relax, but I plan to change that this weekend.

A few days ago Tommy and I were sorting out some pictures and trying to id some birds from our trip to Tacna (Perú) and Arica (Chile) a few weeks ago. We found pretty awesome hummingbirds and birds like the one above.

We decided that it was time to get a field guide for Perú (our first one is a smaller one for a selection of Lima birds), and we made our first online purchase!! We are so excited about it, it's supposed to arrive the first days of August. Tommy's birthday is today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMMY!!!) and mine is on August, so, it is kind of a birthday present for both, as it will arrive (hopefully!!) between birthdays.

We decided to get 'Birds of Peru' (Princeton Field Guides)
by Thomas S. Schulenberg, Douglas F. Stotz, Daniel F. Lane, and John P. O'Neill (Hardcover - Oct 15, 2007). It is unbelievable that over here (Peru) it's almost impossible to get it in bookstores. If found, it costs about 70.00 usd!!

If you consider that the minimum wage is S/. 500 (five hundred nuevos soles) a month, which is about 170.00 US dollars (current exchange rate), and the fact that 51% of the population lives below the poverty line and 14% lives in extreme poverty (with 1 nuevo sol a day or less), then you can understand that something like this guide is a luxury for most people over here. Plus, there are no guides in Spanish either (although I know this guide will have a Spanish edition soon!!)

I've been getting in contact with some birders over here, and they all regret the fact that not many people here are interested in birds, even though we are currently the first country in the world with diversity (at least it was the last time I checked, if not, we might be second only after Colombia), but hopefully, that will change in time, and I plan to be a part of it! :)

I'm really happy to have found a way to learn a little bit about bird watching, birds, nature, etc. using this blog to contact other people. You have been (and still are!!) wonderful teachers, and I hope that this guide (if it ever arrives!!) will help Tommy and I post more facts and figures for you to learn - as we do - a little bit of our birds in this side of the world.

We can't wait for it to arrive!!!


10 comments:

Gallicissa said...

Happy B'days to both of you!
Congradulations on your first online purchase! Now that is money well-spent. Getting the first bird guide is like a right of passge for bird watchers. Good luck for both of you! I am sure it will open new pages.

Lynne said...

First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMMY!!!!
Second, that's a very cool picture of that bird with its beak tucked into the blossom.
I'm so excited for you both to be getting such a wonderful field guide. I can't wait to see the new things WE learn from YOU. It's puzzling that the book you ordered is not available in Spanish. I know you and Tommy will help spark a national interest in birding there in Peru. Your excitement and passion for birding is clear!

By the way, I found a new copy of your field guide on amazon.com for 33 USD. I'm not sure what shipping would be but in the future if it would be less expensive to purchase here and ship to you I'd be glad to check it out for you.

Sekhar said...

Happy birthday Tommy. By God's grace may you and Mel, both have a prosperous life.
And Mel, well said about the pricing index. A few things in some countries are considered luxury compared to in other countries.
I too heard that Peru is a beautiful country where nature is pristine and well preserved.
And HAPPY READING when the book arrives :)

Antshrike said...

Happy Birthday! You're getting a great book by people who know their stuff. It's much better than the Clements book. Now instead of birding getting easier you'll find a whole new world of stuff you've never imagined existed. Be patient and pay close attention to range and altitude. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Tommy and many sucess and health and dreams come true ... for Meliss and Tommy. As i don`t know many things about birds i am really interested and will compare it to the birds in our
central-europe landscapes.

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Hi Mel! Happy birthday to Tommy and to you too for your upcoming birthday! This birding guide sounds wonderful! In a place like Peru where there are soooooo many beautiful birds, this is going to be fantastic for you! Congratulations! Glad to hear that things are going so well for you, albeit busy. Have a great week!

Mel said...

Hello guys!!

Amila, you are so right! Eye opener guide :)

Lynne, we got the book on Amazon, total costs were still much less than in bookstores. Yes, it's so annoying that the book is not edited in Spanish yet!

Sekhar, thank you for your wishes, we really appreciate it.

Antshrike, thank you for the advice. We are aware that things will get harder, but also more exciting!!

Sandpiper, thanks a lot!! We can't wait for it to arrive!!

evilbirder said...

A little late (as always)...

Just a note to say thanks to all for the b'day wishes!

[Mel's] Tommy

Tor Egil Høgsås said...

Hi, great to see that you have been in Tacna, the bird on the photo is a Cinereous Conebill. The most common (and only hummingbirds normaly seen in tacna ) are Oasis Hummingbird and Peruvian Sheartrail.

Mel said...

Hi Tor!
Thanks for your visit, I love the way you capture Peruvian birds in your pictures!
THANK YOU for the id!!! Now I can add it to our list!
We were in Tacna for just a day, sadly we had to go back due to work, but managed to find some birds anyway.