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Humminbirds Photographic Guide Project

First video guide nears completion…

Carlo Ferraro’s fascination for birds started 35 years ago when he began watching birds in his new home on a 5,000ft hill near Caracas, in the northern mountain range of Venezuela, South America.

This attraction ended up with a coffee table book: Venezuela, Paradise for Birds among many other wildlife works that can be seen at http://www.ferrarofilms.net and another seven documentaries and videos of birds of Venezuela, including a DVD Video Guide with over 300 species.

This is the story in his own words. About three years ago, induced by some friends, I began to watch hummingbirds in a different way than I had before. These friends have feeders in their homes and dozens of hummingbirds, sometimes hundreds swirling around the feeders and flowers. I’ve always been a man who likes challenges and Hummingbirds are probably one of the most difficult photographic subjects among birds. I started to read several books on Hummingbirds, including the jewel of Dr Luis Mazariego, Fernando Ortiz Crespo’s studies, and all the Hummingbird websites. I found that something was missing about this extraordinary tiny birds: good pictures and good videos to help getting to better know these birds, their behavior, the relationship with the environment and in general terms - a guide to enable more people to understand them and to help to their conservation. After working in Venezuela, where he got good footage of 35 species, he explored the possibility of working in other countries. First he traveled to Colombia to the home of Dr Mazariego and on his advise he made contacts in Ecuador and the first trip there was planned for July 2007. After that, a second trip was set for October, then a visit to Panama in Jan 2008 and new trips to Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica are scheduled for 2008.

At the time of writing this article, 90 species can be seen at his website http://www.hummingbirdsguide.net or http://www.colibries.net originally photographed in high definition and of outstanding quality. By the middle of 2008 the first release of the Hummingbirds Video Guide with 100 species will be available.Again in his own words: Venezuela is experiencing serious political and economical issues, including a currency control limiting the access to dollars. So far I’ve found wonderful people in many countries that have understood the value of the work and seen the quality of it and they became allies in the project and I thank them a lot. They give me lodging and local guiding and I give them a video with the species recorded at the site. I pay for the air tickets and car rental with the money I get from my retirement pension and expenses are becoming higher and higher, so I am finding it harder and harder. Sales of my products have become lower and lower as visitors to Venezuela have been declining because of our troubles. I contacted some companies offering even my video products as part of a symbiotic exchange but there has been no interest or I did not type the right key. I hope some company or Institution can appreciate the value of my work and help to get some funds for air tickets and local transportation to allow the project to reach the goal of getting at least two thirds of the nearly 350 species of Hummingbirds we proudly have in the Americas.Can anyone out there help Carlo out? It seems such a shame that such an ambitious project should grind to a halt; especially, as he has given up his time and pension to get this far!


4th July 2014