Thursday, February 4, 2010

Multi-ethnic Bird Guide of the Subantarctic Forests of South America

 Originally posted 9/28/2010 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

UPDATE:  I recently received a copy of this marvelous book, and it's available now.  The included Yahgan story on the origin of the Magellanic Woodpecker tells an amazing tale of a brother who fell in love with his own sister "in ancestral times when birds were still humans."  Back in March 2010, I posted the information below about this book with its uniquely diverse content and beautiful photography.

Here's the description from the publisher, and you can find a few more details there at:   

University of North Texas Press

The subantarctic forests of South America are the world’s southernmost forested ecosystems. The birds have sung in these austral forests for millions of years; the Yahgan and Mapuche peoples have handed down their bird stories from generation to generation for hundreds of years.

 In Multi-ethnic Bird Guide of the Subantarctic Forests of South America, Ricardo Rozzi and his collaborators present a unique combination of bird guide and cultural ethnography. The book includes entries on fifty bird species of southern Chile and Argentina, among them the Magellanic Woodpecker, Rufous-Legged Owl, Ringed Kingfisher, Buff-Necked Ibis, Giant Hummingbird, and Andean Condor. Each bird is named in Yahgan, Mapudungun, Spanish, English, and scientific nomenclature, followed by a description, full color photographs, the bird’s distribution map, habitat and lifestyle, and its history in the region.

 Each entry is augmented further with indigenous accounts of the bird in history and folklore. Two audio CDs (included) orient the reader with the birdcalls and their names in four languages, followed by numerous narratives of Yahgan and Mapuche stories about the birds translated directly from interviews with elders of both communities.


Here is a photo I took at el Museo Maritimo de Ushuaia. For a fascinating piece about the extraordinary Yahgan people:


madibirder said...

Hi Bill,
Thanks for visiting Wings Among Us.
You have an interesting blog and I can see your passion for Woodpeckers,they are wonderful birds. We have quite a number of species of woodpeckers here in the south East Asian region, some are very colourful. I still have a lot more species to go as far as woodpeckers are concerned.
Best regards

John L. Trapp said...

This sounds like a fascinating book.

Bill Benish said...

Madibirder, I am aware of the amazing woodpeckers you have in Asia, especially the large ones! I can only hope to see them up close and personal some time in the future.

Thank you for your comments! You too John.


Angie said...

Incredible. Thank you for sharing this.

Dave M. said...

I would like to know more about this book. It seems rather unique and could inspire some more cultural diversity in North American birding!

Bill Benish said...


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