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.