I’m honored to be collaborating with BirdsCaribbean, the leading bird conservation organization in the Caribbean. We’re creating a children’s book; Endemic Birds of the West Indies Coloring Book, that will feature 50 out of the 175 endemic bird species of the Caribbean and it will be distributed throughout the islands. It is due to be published in the spring of 2020.
My Artistic Process
I created the illustrations in Adobe Illustrator, which allowed me to create clean, crisp, and editable illustrations with the use of my computer and Wacom Cintiq Tablet. Each page of the coloring book realistically represents one species in its native habitat. I worked from photo references, but have also been fortunate to observe many of these endemic birds in the wild during my travels to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guadaloupe and Martinique. The text, written by Guadeloupe resident Mark Yokoyama, describes the special attributes of each endemic bird species.
Below you’ll find examples of the endemic bird species featured in the book.
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.
The 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 Pauraque 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.
Praise from the Director
Christine’s other work with BirdsCaribbean
II was honored 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.