Inspiring children to know & protect their avian friends
I’m honored to be collaborating with BirdsCaribbean, the leading bird conservation organization in the Caribbean. We’re creating a children’s book (working title: Endemic Birds of the West Indies Coloring Book) that will be distributed throughout the islands. Below, you’ll find some of the initial drafts of the pages I’m illustrating for the book, and I hope you enjoy them.
How this Coloring Book will be used
BirdsCaribbean will be using the book in their outreach and education programs, with the goals of both educating and entertaining children, while also inspiring them to be more aware and appreciative of the unique and beautiful birds that call their islands home.
Uniqueness of the Caribbean Avifauna
You probably already know that the islands of the Caribbean, also known as the West Indies, support tropical species such as parrots and hummingbirds, but many other less well known but equally beautiful species share their home including the Antillean Euphonia, Barbuda Warbler, Cuban Trogan, Hispaniolan Woodpecker, Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo, Martinique Oriole, Puerto Rican Nightjar and many others.
In fact, this region is home to over 565 species of birds, 170 of which are endemic; being found nowhere else in the world! And over 100 species are found on just one island! Many species are critically endangered, like the Grenada Dove, Jamaican Parauque and Zapata Wren; facing the same threats as birds worldwide, such as habitat loss, pollution and illegal hunting. So educating the public, especially youth, is vitally important in the fight against extinction and we’re hoping that the coloring book we’re creating will help in its own modest way.
Image Gallery: first drafts of coloring book pages
Support This Project
I’d be so honored if you could donate to help support this project. All folks contributing a minimum of $250 will receive an original 8 x 10 inch matted watercolor painting based on a page of their choice from the coloring book (plus $10 shipping within the continental US, more if elsewhere).As an extra bonus, I will donate half of the proceeds directly back to BirdsCaribbean in support of their conservation work. Click on the Buy My Product button below to learn more and purchase by credit card (or contact me for other payment methods) I will contact you soon to find out what bird you’d like me to paint and your shipping address.
Video showcasing BirdsCaribbean’s work with island children
Christine’s previous work with BirdsCaribbean
I’ve been lucky to work with the fine folks at BirdsCaribbean at their 2015 conference in Jamaica, where I gave presentations and led workshops on bird sketching, and also taught at their birding summer camp for local school children at Hope Zoo, in Kingston, Jamaica.
I was deeply inspired by the enthusiasm of these kids, and their eagerness to learn about birds and conservation. So when BirdsCaribbean asked me to work on this bird coloring book, I jumped at the chance, and am eagerly anticipating the looks of surprise and joy on the faces of these same kids when they see I’ve illustrated a book for them and their peers throughout the region. See my video below where I describe a bit more about the birding summer camp.
I addition, I recently wrote an article on the organization’s website; Identifying Warblers in the Caribbean.
Video about my environmental education work with children in Jamaica
Books I recommend on Caribbean Birds
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several authors during my travels in the Caribbean including those of the excellent bird watching guides below.
Birds of the West Indies
by Herbert Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando Garrido, Allan Keith, and Janis Raffaele, with principle illustrations by Tracy Pedersen and Kristin Williams
Birds of the West Indies is the only field guide that covers all of the bird species known to occur in the region–including migrants and infrequently occurring forms. Each species is represented by a full description that includes identification field marks, status and range, habitat, and voice. A map showing the bird’s distribution accompanies many species accounts, and plumages of all species are depicted in ninety-three beautifully rendered color plates.
Endemic Birds of Cuba: A Comprehensive Field Guide
by Nils Navarro
I met author Nils Navarro in 2015 at the annual BirdsCaribbean conference in Jamaica. He has quickly become one of my favorite bird illustrators for his beautiful paintings of the endemic birds of his island home.The 168-page guide is divided into five chapters: general information about Cuba; species accounts; guide to habitats with photographs of the birds in their habitats; levels of threat; and finally, maps, datasheets and space for notes.