“THE DELPHI CLUB GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF ABACO”
In a box in the corner over there – no, there – are my last 6 copies of ‘The Birds of Abaco’. Peter Mantle probably has a few over here in the UK too. And there are definitely some remaining at Delphi HQ in a cupboard just a few lurches away from the surprisingly popular ‘honesty bar’. But there aren’t a great many left now, so forgive me for drawing attention to the fact that the Season of Goodwill is upon us. And… ahem… there are only 24 more ‘sleeps’ until Christmas.
“The Delphi Club Guide to THE BIRDS OF ABACO” was published in March 2014. To say “I wrote it” would be a gross distortion of the truth: it was an entirely collaborative project. The originator of the idea – as with the entire Delphi Club project – was Peter Mantle, the publisher. The work of 30 photographers is included. There was huge input from the very experienced project manager and from Bahamas bird experts. So although my name is on the cover, it is as a participant representing the contributions, camera skills and brainpower of many people.
The book launched to generous enthusiasm and support both on Abaco and beyond, which has continued ever since. We have been astonished by the positive responses to this unique publication for the Bahamas. There is a wider purpose to the book than as a photographic showcase for Abaco birds. All Abaco schools, colleges, libraries and local wildlife organisations have been given free copies for educational purposes. And a percentage of the profits is set aside for local wildlife causes.
Abaco (Cuban) Parrots Peter Mantle
Below are some facts and stats. Some people may well have seen these set out elsewhere, but a lot of new people have kindly tuned in to Rolling Harbour in the last 12 months or so, so I will repeat some of the details.
The Guide showcases the rich and varied bird life of Abaco, Bahamas and features both resident and migratory species including endemics rarities and unusual sightings.
The main features are as follows:
- 272 pages with more than 350 photographs
- 163 species shown in vivid colour – nearly two-thirds of all the bird species ever recorded for Abaco
- Every single photograph was taken on Abaco or in Abaco waters
- All birds are shown in their natural surroundings – no feeders or trails of seed were used
- Several birds featured are the first ones ever recorded for Abaco or even for the entire Bahamas
- A total of 30 photographers, both experienced and local amateurs, contributed to the project
- The book had the generous support of many well-known names of Abaco and Bahamas birding
- A complete checklist of every bird recorded for Abaco since 1950 up to the date of publication was compiled specially for the book (6 new species have been recorded since then…)
- A code was devised to show at a glance when you may see a particular bird, and the likelihood of doing so. Birds found at Delphi are also marked
- Specially commissioned cartographer’s Map of Abaco showing places named in the book
- Informative captions intentionally depart from the standard field guide approach…
- …as does the listing of the birds in alphabetical rather than scientific order
- Say goodbye to ’37 warbler species on consecutive pages’ misery
- Say hello to astonishing and unexpected juxtapositions of species
- The book was printed in Florence, Italy by specialist printers on Grade-1 quality paper
- Printing took pairs of printers working in 6 hour shifts 33 hours over 3 days to complete
- The project manager and the author personally oversaw the printing
- The book is dedicated to the wildlife organisations of Abaco
- A percentage of the profits is put by for the support of local wildlife organisations
- A copy of the book has been presented to every school, college and library on Abaco
The book is published by the Delphi Club (contact details below). The project was managed by a publishing specialist in art books. The author is the wildlife blogger more widely known on Abaco and (possibly) beyond as ‘Rolling Harbour’. Oh! So that would in fact be Mrs Harbour and myself. Well well! What were the chances?
PO Box AB-20006, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries or comments
Photos: Tom Sheley, Bruce Hallett, Gerlinde Taurer, Tony Hepburn, Peter Mantle, Keith Salvesen