The Elusive Chilean Sub-species Bird Thingy Brings a Book Winging My Way

I have been going crazy for a couple of months trying to find some references to Chilean birds and flora in particular. A lot of sites are in Spanish or you get Spanish and Latin names and I only had a description or generic English name. Lots of information was available on common or distinctive birds like the Andean Condor or the Andean Flamingo, but not so much on the little guys.

In desperation I ordered a field guide to wildlife. I could only afford one book and the spouse is still not speaking to me because I bought this book for $15 plus shipping. However I needed it, no question. A Wildlife Guide to Chile by Sharon Chester, covers everything, including flowers, trees, cacti, shells, marine animals, mammals, butterflies, moths, birds, and reptiles. There is a separate bird identification book available for Chile but I couldn’t afford it too, and I was pleased that this wildlife overview has plenty of birds.


The final straw for me on the weekend was trying to find this bird:


I knew it was from Chile but numerous searches under colour and head shape etc. did not turn up the name for me. It is the Thorn-tailed Rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda) but it’s a sub-species known as (Aphrastura spinicauda fulva) and I found it within five minutes of receiving the book today.

Score!!! Now that’s well worth $20 to me. Plus I have scads of other references and names for my Chilean journal now. And there is not just one flamingo species as I might have assumed from Web browsing, there are three, and they look quite similar, but now I know there are three.

Ahhhhh, the satisfaction of a good book.



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4 Responses to The Elusive Chilean Sub-species Bird Thingy Brings a Book Winging My Way

  1. Roseanne Dix says:

    Oh Jude, I laughed myself silly reading this. So typical of you my friend…but what an interesting search…and what a glorious little bird – rather like our robins or chats. I love anything to do with Chile – such artistry comes from that country.

    • JJ ColourArt says:

      It’s very wren-like. I knew it was a passerine but no search would turn it up. It’s quite a common bird and I put in all sorts of search terms and colours and got nothing. This was a sub-species but still I should have got the species in some way.

      I am thinking that once I really get going on this, I might need a second sketchbook. There are so many varied regions in Chile and climates that there are almost too many things to draw!

  2. Hi Jude (just found out your name is Jude), your post reminded me I have not received a book I have recently ordered ‘Creating Radiant Flowers in Colored Pencil’ hoping it will help me with getting a really bright orange!. I love that little bird with his bright blue eyes. I have to keep knowledge of book purchases from my dear husband or face a severe cross questioning :). Sue

    • JJ ColourArt says:

      Hi Sue, I usually go by Judy or Judith but some of my more familiar friends call me JJ or Jude–take your pick!

      I have that book–he seems to use a lot of burnishing to blend which I can’t do due to hand problems, and also I tend to like the look of things when they aren’t burnished. You can darken things and add shade and such without completely burnishing something, everyone has their own style.

      He also uses solvent (Bestine I think) to wash his backgrounds. Similar to what I was telling you about using a watercolour wash as a background. Same thing. See what you think of that technique when you get the book. I of course use watercolour or watercolour pencils, so slightly different but it ends up looking much the same.

      As a colour reference with complete pictures of laying down colours it is very good–I think you will like it.

      I meant to say in my comment on your blog that I liked that quilt with the orange squares. I so dislike orange but I love it with blues. I am using orange and dark green in a quilt related to James Joyce (Irish colours) and it really makes a difference to the general yuckiness of orange. We have to use these fabrics up and not waste them, right?

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