11-year-old author – with high-level help – chronicles Seychelles’ diverse bird life

The Seychelles' diverse birdlife has been captured in a book written by a young Italian, after the author visited the island nation last year, a trip made possible through the help of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB).

Titled Seychelles Travel Book � A Young Ornithologist's Travel Journal -- the book is the third published work of Francesco Barberini, an aspiring ornithologist aged 11. An ornithologist is a person that studies or is an expert on birds.

The book which came out in December is the first of a series dubbed Francesco birdwatching travel. It covers the splendid nature of the Seychelles, in particular, the birdlife, which distinguishes these 115 tropical islands of the western Indian Ocean.

Qatar Airways and Swarovski Optik Italia sponsored the project. To put the book together, Barberini spent ten days in Seychelles, a trip organised in June 2018 by the Seychelles Tourism Board office in Italy.

With 128 pages in colour, richly illustrated with maps, photographs and original drawings, the book can be purchased online at Pandion Edizioni for $23. At the request of the author, part of the book's profits will be donated to the birdlife conservation projects on Denis and Cousine Islands in the Seychelles.

The director of the Seychelles Tourism Board office in Italy, Monette Rose, along with her staff also assisted with the writing of the book.

Written in his own style, Barberini has transferred his observations and emotions felt into writing. Available in English, French and Italian, the book even consists of checklists of all species observed and lots of information about the islands visited by the boy.

11-year-old Barberini has transferred his observations and emotions into the writing. (Seychelles Tourism Board) Photo License: CC-BY

The illustrations were made by two noted naturalist-artists, Lorenzo Dotti and Alessandro Troisi.

The book includes dedications from three renowned authorities, Sherin Francis, the Seychelles Tourism Board's chief executive, Fulco Pratesi, the honorary President of World Wildlife Fund Italy, and Fulvio Capria, the President of LIPU (Italian Society for the Protection of Birds).

Francis said that the board is happy to be part of this original idea of a book inspired by visits to some of Seychelles' islands.

His status as an ambassador of the WWF will certainly help to revive the image of the Seychelles as a paradise for ornithologists. Initiatives like this by Barberini, considering his young age, are exactly what we hope to see in the new generations: that they are interested in our wounded planet and its ecosystems and endeavour to preserve them, said Francis.

She added that it is amazing to have a young author add his name to the list of authors who are passionate about the destination and its remarkable features.

Pratesi said that only an experienced and passionate ornithologist like Barberini could have observed, described and catalogued the precious bird fauna of the Seychelles with such love and expertise.

The book was presented to the Italian press and public on January 25 and 26 in Rome during which a Creole buffet was also offered to the guests for the occasion. The event saw the participation of the Seychelles vice consul in Italy and a great number of journalists, tour operators, artists and consumers.

The first book by Barberini was about birds and the second about flying dinosaurs.

Source: Seychelles News Agency