In the wild

New photo book celebrates Chile’s rare and beautiful birds

The bilingual book features stunning photographs of 142 bird species from around the Andean nation.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013  
Photo courtesy of Chancacazo. Photo courtesy of Chancacazo.

 

It’s very difficult to find Chile’s seitecolores, or many-colored thrush, and for this reason Chilean photographer Leslie Brackenridge decided to put it on the cover of his new book of photographs, Flock of Friends: Birds of Chile.

According to Brackenridge, Flock of Friends: Birds of Chile (or Bandada de Amigos: Aves de Chile in Spanish) isn’t meant to be a technical catalog. Instead, the bilingual book aims to spark appreciation for Chile’s beautiful birds, and will be useful to anyone.

"My interest isn’t in bird research or science - I’m not trying to catalog every species of bird in Chile. My interest is in art and photography," Brackenridge told La Tercera.

According to the photographer, the sietecolores was one of the most time consuming birds to capture.

"The first time I saw a photo [of the sietecolores] was in 2009. I fell in love with this bird and I promised to search for it until I could find it and photograph it,” the author said.

Brackenridge spent two years of waiting and watching before he finally spotted the bird in 2011 in wetlands outside the city of Huasco in the Atacama Region.

"I knew that, like fishing, bird photography requires lots of patience and so I knew I had to wait to see my first sietecolores. Since then I have seen them in several places, even when I’m not looking,” the photographer said.

Brackenridge was born in Chile, but moved to Australia in the 1970s. There he discovered photography and began developing his passion. Since then, he has lived and traveled in many parts of the world.

A trip to India sparked the photographer’s interest in capturing birds - which has only intensified since his return to his homeland of Chile.

The sietecolores is just one of the 142 species that appear in the book, which is arranged by geographical area. Visit the publisher’s website to order a copy Flock of Friends: Birds of Chile online.