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Species list

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List of species seen

Lesser Rhea  

The impression before the trip from some reports was that these were often difficult to see when amongst low bushes. The opposite was the case - despite all the birds noted being from the window of a bus, they were in god numbers, often with chicks, in the open and often next to the boundary fences. (At least 50 on Journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine. First seen at rest stop half way along, in occasional singles or more usually small groups of about 10; 2 on exit from Torres del Paine; Quite common. Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport, starting from about half way into journey. Many birds with large crèches)

Coscoroba Swan

These were only seen (in good numbers) in the bay at El Calafate when leaving for the Perito Moreno glacier, where their bright pink legs and pink bills against white plumage was obvious

Black-necked Swan

Seen at various locations, the prime site for these was the shore front at Puerto Natales, followed by the ferry docking area of Chiloe. (2 on Lake Argentinos on journey to Perito Moreno Glacier; 2 on lake in Torres del Paine; Very common along shoreline of Puerto Natales; Small numbers on occasional lakes Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport; ~30 Chiloe near ferry terminal)

Flying Steamer Duck

Always similar to Fuegian Steamer Duck, one of the aids to identification was the presence on an inland water. The pure orange bill of Fuegian wasn't much help, since some Flying Steamer Ducks also seemed to have this. (1 in front of restaurant at Explora Hotel on Pehoe Lake, Torres del Paine; Pair with 2 immatures on Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine; 2 on first lake Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche 2+1)

Fuegian Steamer Duck

Best aid to identification of the birds seen on Chiloe was to photograph them and then look at the wing length in relation to the tail. (2 Punahuil (Penguin Colony), Chiloe near ferry terminal, 2 Ferry to Chiloe Island)

Torrent Duck

This was the surprise of the trip, with the habitat and difficulty in finding them in mind. Even more surprising and rewarding was that from the first female seen to the two pairs with young, all had been searched for due to the likely habitat. That being said, all three sightings were in the Torres del Paine national park and nowhere else. (1 above Salto Grande falls, Torres del Paine; 2 families - 2 adults with 3 immatures just up from snack kiosk, 2 adults with 2 immatures on stream 800 metres to West of Los Torres Hotel)

Upland Goose

This turned out to be a very common sighting in Patagonia, and sometimes in very good numbers. Birds generally seemed to be paired up. (~8 pairs El Calafate; Abundant on Lake Argentinos, including in El Calafate bay; Very common, sometimes in very large flocks on Journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine; Lesser numbers in Torres del Paine; 4 past Los Torres Hotel in morning; Regular and sometimes common on journey to Puerto Natales; Very common in Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport)

Kelp Goose

As expected from the maritime habits of this goose, the only birds seen were on the coast, and more precisely, the rocky (penguin) islands and beach of Puñihuil on Chiloe, where there were 4 pairs – 3 on the islands and one pair on the beach

Ashy-headed Goose

The only pair seen was lucky to be found, hiding in the corner of the Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel in Torres del Paine

Crested Duck

~30 El Calafate; Quite common on shoreline of Puerto Natales

Bronze-winged Duck

Another species which we were fortunate to see, since a pair was hugging the edge of the lake as we descended the trail adjacent to the Porito Moreno glacier

Chiloe Wigeon

Not in huge numbers but regularly seen. (2 El Calafate; At least 12 birds on 3 different lakes in Torres del Paine; Quite common on shoreline of Puerto Natales; Occasionally seen on Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport; 2 on pool on Chiloe)

Yellow-billed Teal

6 on pool on Chiloe; Bariloche - 4

Yellow-billed Pintail

One of the commoner species of duck seen in smallish numbers on lake shores. (1 El Calafate; ~8 on shoreline of Puerto Natales; 6 in front of hotel Puerto Varas; Puerto Varas - 6 on lake; Bariloche ~15)

Magellanic Penguin

This is the signature species in terms of numbers at Puñihuil on Chiloe. The timing meant that we saw adults with some fairly well grown young, mostly on the rocky islands where they nested, but also in lower numbers on the surrounding sea. Only one was seen on the ferry crossing to the island

Humboldt Penguin

Puñihuil is where the two species of Humboldt & Magellanic Penguins meet from their different geographical distributions to breed, with the former in much smaller numbers- about 5 pairs.  We had to be patient passing many of the latter before much smaller numbers of Humboldt were found, again some with young

Black-browed Albatross

Of the handful of albatross species that can be seen in the area, this is the more likely within the bay, and it was good to see one had read this script, passing not too far from the ferry on the crossing to Chiloe

Sooty Shearwater 

Very common on the ferry on the crossing to Chiloe

Pink-footed Shearwater

3 on the ferry on the crossing from Chiloe

White-tufted Grebe

2 birds on smallish lake in Torres del Paine

Great Grebe

1 on Pehoe Lake, Torres del Paine; 5 last lake Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche - Pair

Chilean Flamingo

These were expected in the bay of the lake at El Calafate, but the small groups seen from the bus spattered on smallish pools and lakes elsewhere were less likely. (Common at El Calafate bay; 3 small groups of birds on separate open water on Journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine)

Black-faced Ibis

These birds turned out to be one of the most common and regular birds seen, as well as heard (they are very noisy and vocal from the early dawn to late sunset) in many locations in Patagonia. (Common El Calafate, including in main street trees; Regularly seen on journey to Perito Moreno Glacier; 5 over Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine; A few groups of up to 6 birds overhead Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; 10 on Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine; Occasional on journey to Puerto Natales; Occasionally seen Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport; reasonably common Puerto Varas; Common Puerto Varas; Occasional Punahuil, Chiloe; Occasional Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche – 2)

Black-crowned Night Heron

1 on lake shore at Puerto Varas

Great Egret 

1 over Puerto Varas

Snowy Egret

1 on lake shore Puerto Varas

Peruvian Pelican

After returning from seeing the penguin colony at Puñihuil, a single bird landed on the sea just off the beach, drifting closer to the shore as time progressed 

Red-legged Cormorant

This species is very much more dapper and almost un-cormorant like in colouration than others in the family.  After the first bird seen flying a little distance away from the ferry to Chiloe, the best site for them was at Puñihuil. (1 Ferry to Chiloe Island, ~12 Puñihuil)

Neotropic Cormorant

The most regularly seen cormorant species. (Few in docks at Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires; 2 Puerto Varas; ~20 Puñihuil; 3 Ferry to Chiloe Island; 2 Lago Frias Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche 5; Buenos Aires 20)

Imperial Shag

The unlikely site of a broken jetty from the shore at Puerto Natales held many birds initially. The pair on the islands at Puñihuil were much closer however. (~50 on broken jetty at Puerto Natales; Pair and other single Puñihuil; 1 Ferry to Chiloe Island)

Turkey Vulture

1 Puerto Varas, perched on a boat; Fairly common Chiloe in flight

Black Vulture

~10 over Puerto Varas; Common Chiloe, mainly in flight with small numbers on the ground; Common high over peaks journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche

Andean Condor

Numbers of this huge and majestic glider were predictably low, but were always a welcome and impressive site when seen in either the El Calafate or Torres del Paine localities. (1 on journey to Perito Moreno Glacier, with 2 adults and 1-2 juveniles above lower car park at Perito Moreno Glacier; 1 and group of 4 on Argentinian leg of Journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine towards border; 1 Torres del Paine; 1 juvenile late evening Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine;  2 separate birds overhead high up on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine, with 4 birds lower down soaring up the valley)

Cinereous Harrier

Best views were on a small dryish marsh on the landward side of the road from the small nature reserve at El Calafate. The birds here seemed to be in courtship. (3 on dry marsh El Calafate, with 1 over El Calafate; 1 on journey to Perito Moreno Glacier; 1 on Journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine, near to Argentinian / Chilean border; 1 Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport; 1 male Punahuil, Chiloe)

Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle

Usually seen in flight, one was good enough to land on the cliffs on the opposite side of the valley from where we were at Torres del Paine. (1 over Laguna Amarga entrance gate to Torres del Paine; 1 flew over our heads and landed on opposite cliff face; 1 over Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine; 1 on journey to Puerto Natales)

Roadside Hawk

2 over Buenos Aires

Red-gartered Coot

5 on Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine

Magellanic Oystercatcher 

1 at Argentinian / Chilean border crossing; Pair Chiloe

Blackish Oystercatcher

2 Punahuil (Penguin Colony), Chiloe

Southern Lapwing

Very common throughout, as well as very vocal.  They can't be missed. (~20 El Calafate; Occasional on journey to Perito Moreno Glacier; Occasional on Journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine; Parents with 2 immatures at Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine; Pair with young at Los Torres Hotel; ~8 on Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine; Occasional on journey to Puerto Natales; 4 at Puerto Natales; Quite common Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport; 6 Puerto Varas; ~8 Puerto Varas; Common Chiloe; Occasional Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche – 4)

Hudsonian Godwit

~20 Chiloe near ferry terminal

Whimbrel

3 Chiloe

Greater Yellowlegs

~6 on pools, Chiloe

Lesser Yellowlegs

~25 on pools Chiloe

Baird's Sandpiper 

1 on lake shore at Puerto Varas

Brown-hooded Gull

Very common and regular throughout. (Common El Calafate; 6 at Los Torres Hotel in morning; Common Puerto Natales; Quite common Puerto Varas; Occasional FX Ferry to Chiloe Island)

Dolphin Gull

At least one bird on the shoreline at Puerto Natales, which looked like a second year immature

Franklin's Gull

Occasional near to the shore of Chiloe near ferry terminal

Kelp Gull

1 El Calafate; 6 Puerto Varas; Fairly common Puerto Varas; Common Chiloe; Quite common on some of lakes Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche ~10

South American Tern

3 at Puerto Natales; Common from ferry to Chiloe

Chilean Skua

One on the water near the ferry terminal at Puerto Natales, with a second bird flying along the shore front further along

Picazuro Pigeon

1 in Buenos Aires hotel garden; Buenos Aires 3

Eared Dove

Common Buenos Aires

Green-backed Firecrown

This seems to be the only likely hummingbird to be encountered in Patagonia, and is very active. (2 separate females around hotel at Puerto Varas; 1 feeding late afternoon Puerto Varas; 1 near hotel in morning at Puerto Varas; 2 Natura Hotel Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche)

Green-barred Woodpecker

The only bird seen was flying within one of the parks on the Puerto Madero island in Buenos Aires

Chilean Flicker

1 near Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine; 2 together at Los Torres Hotel on the same day

Magellanic Woodpecker

Single female in forest above kiosk on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine. Initially picked up by a few pecking sounds, very good views were had before it flew off into the woodland

Southern Crested Caracara

2 together El Calafate; 3 around car parks at Perito Moreno Glacier; 5 on journey to Perito Moreno Glacier; 2 on Journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine; 1 at Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine; 1 at kiosk on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; 5 Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport; 2 Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche

Chimango Caracara

This was a surprisingly common and approachable Caracara found in almost all locations, including one seen catching a dragonfly from the departure terminal at Buenos Aires airport. (At least 6 El Calafate; 2 at Perito Moreno Glacier; 1 over Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine; 1 at Los Torres Hotel; 2 Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport; ~6 Puerto Varas; Common Chiloe; Common Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche ~10)

American Kestrel

1 flying overhead in Torres del Paine; 1 on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; 1 on wires Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche

Monk Parakeet

Common Buenos Aires

Slender-billed Parakeet

These birds are apparently seasonal in the Chiloe/Puerto Montt area, so it may be that the couple of small flocks seen flying were newly arrived. (2 groups of 5 & 8 towards Chiloe ferry terminal on mainland)

Buff-winged Cinclodes

Only one bird was seen (twice), the first sighting being from our bedroom window on the first evening at Los Torres hotel in Torres del Paine. It was only on the day after when it was seen again that the characteristic buff wing bars could be seen in flight

Dark-bellied Cinclodes

After the initial excitement of the first bird being briefly seen near to the kiosk up the Torres del Paine Ascencio Valley walk, this turned out to be a very regular and almost predictable sight near any water. A pair were even displaying on the roof outside of our window of the hotel at Puerto Varas. (1 near to kiosk Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; 1 at Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine; 1 on lake shore Puerto Varas; ~7 Puerto Varas; 2 Chiloe Island; 2 Punahuil (Penguin Colony), Chiloe; 1 waterfall Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche 2)

Rufous Hornero

The only place these were seen was in Buenos Aires, where they were common and regularly seen. (2 Puerto Madero docks; 2 parents feeding 3 young in centre of Buenos Aires; Buenos Aires 10 on last morning)

Thorn-tailed Rayadito

This small and very active, attractive bird was only seen in the woodland high up on the Ascencio Valley walk in Torres del Paine. A few were eventually seen, but they didn't settle for long at any point. (3, then 2, then 2 singles in the forest around and above the kiosk on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine)

White-crested Elaenia

In some locations, these were regularly seen and heard. (2 separate birds at Perito Moreno Glacier; 2 Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; 3 Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine; 1 Puerto Varas; ~10 Puerto Varas)

Tufted Tit-Tyrant

1 Puerto Varas; 1 near Puerto Varas hotel in morning; Bariloche 4 together

Austral Negrito

When seen, these can be very confiding and approachable.  Most of the birds seen were males. (4 pairs El Calafate; Pair in Torres del Paine; male at Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine; 1 at Los Torres Hotel; 1 at Los Torres Hotel; 1 at Puerto Natales; 1 on Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport)

Spectacled Tyrant

Another reasonably confiding and unmistakable bird, where they were only seen near the nature reserve in El Calafate bay (At least 4 El Calafate)

Dark-faced Ground Tyrant

Care has to be taken with these - they can look a lot like Rufous-naped Ground Tyrant, showing a rufous tinge to the crown in certain lights. (2 together on shingle beach at Perito Moreno Glacier; 2 just before kiosk on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine)

Cattle Tyrant

Another species which would be expected away from the towns in cultivated areas, the first one was in the centre of Buenos Aires on a small patch of grass, the second feeding outside of the glass of the departure terminal of Buenos Aires airport

Fire-eyed Diucon

2 separate birds Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine

Great Kiskadee

Buenos Aires 2

White-rumped Swallow

This species can look very similar to the more southerly distributed Chilean Swallow until the characteristic white frontal stripe is seen on the head. (Common Puerto Madero docks, Buenos Aires)

Chilean Swallow

Very common and regularly seen throughout Patagonia. (At least 3 El Calafate ; Small numbers at both upper and lower car parks at Perito Moreno Glacier; Common within Torres del Paine and at Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine; Common at all altitudes on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; Common Tarn Walk, Torres del Paine; Fairly common Puerto Varas; Common Puerto Varas; Common Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche)

Grey-breasted Martin

Very common and nesting in the Puerto Madero docks area of Buenos Aires

Brown-breasted Martin

Smaller numbers than Grey-breasted Martin in the Puerto Madero docks of Buenos Aires

Blue-and-white Swallow

Quite common Puerto Varas; Quite common Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche

House Wren

Commonly heard and seen in various areas. (1 singing at Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine; At least 8 on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; ~6 Puerto Varas; Buenos Aires 4)

Chalk-browed Mockingbird

10 around Puerto Madero docks, Buenos Aires, and 2 in centre of Buenos Aires

Austral Thrush

A common species throughout Patagonia. (1 in garden in El Calafate; 4-5 at Perito Moreno Glacier; 2 Torres del Paine; At least 15 from Los Torres Hotel to higher part of Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; Common Tarn Walk, Torres del Paine; Quite common Puerto Varas; Common Chiloe; Fairly common Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche ~6)

Rufous-bellied Thrush

Common in parks in centre of Buenos Aires; (Buenos Aires 8)

House Sparrow

Unfortunately introduced and as with many other areas of the world, now seen in small numbers throughout

Correndera Pipit

Only one pipit seen of any species,  this one thankfully landing on an nearby post next to El Calafate nature reserve and showing diagnostic white back stripes

Black-chinned Siskin

2 then flock of ~10 higher up but before forest on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; Pair Punahuil, Chiloe

Long-tailed Meadowlark

A stunning Meadowlark, with quite a few seen from buses as well as at the El Calafate nature reserve. (6 El Calafate; 2 Tarn Walk, Torres del Paine; ~8 Journey from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport)

Shiny Cowbird

Quite common in parks in Buenos Aires

Austral Blackbird

Juvenile and then adult on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; 3 Tarn just West of the Los Torres Hotel, Torres del Paine; 1 at Los Torres Hotel; 2 Puerto Varas; 2 Punahuil, Chiloe

Yellow-winged Blackbird

1 Hotel Natura marsh Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche

Rufous-collared Sparrow

This was perhaps the most ubiquitous sight and sound throughout the trip, being seen at all altitudes as well as almost all locations. (Common singing El Calafate; Common at Perito Moreno Glacier; Most common bird in Torres del Paine; Very common at all altitudes on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; Common Tarn Walk, Torres del Paine; Few around Hotel Natura Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Buenos Aires 1)

Patagonian Sierra Finch

Male Patagonian Sierra Finch, when well marked with the chestnut tinged back, is easy to identify.  Unfortunately, some of the birds encountered had the duller olive back usually found with Grey-hooded. The more defining characteristic seems to be the extent of the white/yellow on the flanks. Those seen well seemed to have the white only on the undertail coverts, ruling out Grey-hooded. (1 male and a pair at Perito Moreno Glacier; 2 males Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine; At least 3 males with other regular females on Ascencio Valley Walk, Torres del Paine; 1 at hotel Puerto Varas; 1 Journey from Puerto Varas to Bariloche; Bariloche 1)

Mourning Sierra Finch

One bird seen briefly from a restaurant on the lakefront at Bariloche

 Mammals seen

South American Grey Fox

Only one was seen, half way along the journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine, on the more dry and open, fenced Steppes

Guanaco

Realistically, this is the only regular indigenous mammal seen. The vast majority were spotted from the bus, some in good numbers and even crossing the road. Outside of this, there were a few at the gate into Torres del Paine, and a single group of 5 within the park itself. (Common and regularly seen on Journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine; Common on journey from Torres del Paine to Puerto Natales)

European Hare

An introduced species. (1 on Journey from El Calafate to Torres del Paine, 4 Hotel Los Torres, Torres del Paine)

 

Home

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Contact

Site map

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Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Species list

Text only