A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Birds & Wines of Chile and Argentina 2024

February 3-17, 2024 with Marcelo Padua guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
The spectacular scenery at Aconcagua Provicial Park is one of the most memorable walks of the tour.

2024 was a unique year for our tour. In Chile, where we start the tour, drought conditions and forest fires displaced thousands of people and kept the country in high alert. Meanwhile, Mendoza had record rains, rivers flowing through the desert and washed out roads. The world is certainly a strange place nowadays but we navigated through it all and our tour was not affected in any significant way, and as a matter of fact we had one of the highest bird counts ever on this tour.

Our tour started in Santiago with amazing scenery, fantastic food and amazing birding. We visited Valle Nevado and had great looks at Andean Condor, White-sided Hillstar, Moustached Turca, and Lesser Horned Owl. We extended our exploration of the Andes with a visit to Embalse Yeso and Termas del Plomo that produced incredible birds like Diademed Sandpiper-plover, Crag Chilia, Gray-breasted Seedsnipe and Creamy-rumped Miner. We wrapped things up with a visit to Rio Clarillo Reserve where we found Dusky-tailed Canastero and several others. On the wine front we enjoyed a great visit to Santa Rita, with a lovely visit to their museum and we also had a memorable meal at Miguel Torre’s restaurant.

Our crossing to Argentina was a bit stressful as we had to change vehicles due to a mechanical problem with our van, but it was as spectacular as always and it set the tone for the days to come. We picked up Plumbeous Rail, Ticking Doradito and Great Pampa-Finch right by our hotel on the first day, and then moved on to our lodge at Salentein, with stops that yielded great looks at Brown-capped Tit-spinetail, Red-tailed Comet and Steinbach’s Canastero.

During our time at Salentein we enjoyed great food, wine and birding, with species such as Crested Gallito, Chaco Earthcreeper, Creamy-breasted Canastero and White-tipped Plantcutter figuring amongst the highlights.

We ventured much further south to the Patagonian steppes around Malargue and found Lesser Rheas, Chilean Flamingos, Elegant Crested Tinamou, Patagonian Canastero and several others in the process.

On our way back north we stopped over at La Vigilia, a new winery that was a lovely surprise as it had some incredible wines. I will be definitely returning here with groups in the future.

Our time in Argentina ended with a couple of lovely days in the city of Mendoza, from where we explored Bosques de Telteca and Pilletones Paramillo. These two spots represented some of the most exciting birding of the tour, with incredible looks at Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Black-crowned Monjita, an amazing host of waterfowl, and even Painted Snipe, which was a lifer for me.

We made our way back to Chile for some coastal birding and enjoyed an amazing array of birds such as Inca Terns, Peruvian Boobies and Franklin’s Gulls right from our window at the hotel in Viña del Mar. We also explored the coast to the north and to the South, picking up a wide variety of birds ranging from Humboldt Penguin and Seaside Cinclodes to the unique Des Mur’s Wiretail.

Our tour had every possible curve ball thrown at us but we dodged every one of them and had an incredible tour, with amazing birding, lovely food and memorable wines.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and that we see each other again in the future.

Thanks to Mike Warner for the lovely photos that have illustrated this checklist.

—- Marcelo Padua

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Rheidae (Rheas)

LESSER RHEA (Rhea pennata)

I have to admit I was losing hope of seeing this one, as we had missed it at our usual spots, but on the way back from Malargue to Mendoza we took a new road that had been recently paved and found a male with babies on the side of the road. What a treat!

Field Guides Birding Tours
We stopped by the visitor center of the Laguna Llancanelo park and Mike spotted this Elegant Crested-Tinamou for us.
Tinamidae (Tinamous)

DARWIN'S NOTHURA (Nothura darwinii) [*]


We stopped at the visitor center of Llancanelo park to use the restrooms and Mike spotted one of these gorgeous tinamous right behind the visitor center.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

Both species of Whistling-Ducks were spotted at Piletones Paramillo.

COSCOROBA SWAN (Coscoroba coscoroba)

Seen both in Chile and Argentina.

ANDEAN GOOSE (Oressochen melanopterus)

We had great looks at this species at Aconcagua Provincial Park.

UPLAND GOOSE (Chloephaga picta)

CRESTED DUCK (Lophonetta specularioides)

Usually more abundant but we had good looks at Aconcagua Provincial Park and later again at Piletones de Paramillo.

CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)

Seen at Laguna Llancanelo and Piletones Paramillo.

RED SHOVELER (Spatula platalea)

CHILOE WIGEON (Mareca sibilatrix)


Always nice to see this species side by side with Yellow-billed Teal for comparison, like we saw them at the mouth of the Maipo River.

YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (FLAVIROSTRIS) (Anas flavirostris flavirostris)

BLACK-HEADED DUCK (Heteronetta atricapilla)

A parasitic duck that tends to be somewhat secretive but they are pretty common at Piletones Paramillo.

Field Guides Birding Tours
These Andean Geese were very obliging, as they are used to the intense trafic of people through the the trails at Aconcagua Park.

LAKE DUCK (Oxyura vittata)

Lots of them at Laguna Llancanelo.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

CALIFORNIA QUAIL (Callipepla californica)

This species was introduced as a game bird in the Santiago region and has become quite common.

Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)

CHILEAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus chilensis)

Great views at Laguna Llancanello.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

WHITE-TUFTED GREBE (Rollandia rolland)

We saw all three species of grebes we saw on the tour at Piletones Paramillo.

GREAT GREBE (Podiceps major)

SILVERY GREBE (Podiceps occipitalis)

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)

PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro)

We saw this one briefly at Piletones Paramillo. This is actually a pretty scarce bird in the area.

SPOT-WINGED PIGEON (Patagioenas maculosa)

CHILEAN PIGEON (Patagioenas araucana)

We spotted this one when we were having lunch at Matetic Winery towards the end of the tour.

PICUI GROUND DOVE (Columbina picui)

BLACK-WINGED GROUND DOVE (Metriopelia melanoptera)

A high altitude species that we saw well every time we were at higher altitudes in the Andes.

WEST PERUVIAN DOVE (Zenaida meloda)

We picked this one up during a rest stop along the road from Malargue to Mendoza.

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of the nicest surprises of our tour was our lunch at Casa Vigilia as we made our way to Mendoza City.

EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)

Seen every day on our tour.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)

This species is absent from Chile but we had good looks at them in Mendoza.

Apodidae (Swifts)

WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

GREEN-BACKED FIRECROWN (Sephanoides sephaniodes)

Nice looks at this species near and around Salentein Winery.

RED-TAILED COMET (Sappho sparganurus)

Always a crowd pleaser, and we saw them multiple times, but the views at General San Martin Park in Mendoza City were particularly memorable.

WHITE-SIDED HILLSTAR (Oreotrochilus leucopleurus)

A high altitude species that we saw well in the ski resort town above Santiago. It was fascinating to see it hawking insects and perching on the ground.

GIANT HUMMINGBIRD (Patagona gigas gigas)

Excellent scope views of multiple individuals at Rio Clarillo reserve near Santiago.

GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus)

Seen particularly well at General San Martin Park in Mendoza City.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

PLUMBEOUS RAIL (Pardirallus sanguinolentus)

It took us quite a bit of work to convince one of these to come into view at Uspallata but we eventually connected with one.

SPOT-FLANKED GALLINULE (Porphyriops melanops)

Mike spotted this one for us at a little pond at Quebrada Cordova on the day we visited the Maipo river mouth.

RED-FRONTED COOT (Fulica rufifrons)

The least abundant species of coot we saw, but we found them a couple of times during the tour.

RED-GARTERED COOT (Fulica armillata)

The most common of the coot species we saw.

WHITE-WINGED COOT (Fulica leucoptera)

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-NECKED STILT (WHITE-BACKED) (Himantopus mexicanus melanurus)

Joe spotted this one for us at Laguna Llancanelo.

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Blackish Oystercatcher was one of many great birds we saw along the coast in Viña de Mar.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)

AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)

Common along the coast in Viña del Mar.


Seen side by side with American Oystercatchers in Viña del Mar for comparison.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

DIADEMED SANDPIPER-PLOVER (Phegornis mitchellii)

We really had to work hard for this one, but our efforts paid off and we got amazing looks at this unique species at Termas del Plomo above Embalse Yeso.

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)

We spotted this one at the mouth of the Maipo River.

SOUTHERN LAPWING (CHILENSIS/FRETENSIS) (Vanellus chilensis chilensis)

Common on both sides of the Andes.

Thinocoridae (Seedsnipes)

GRAY-BREASTED SEEDSNIPE (Thinocorus orbignyianus)

Many good looks at these discreet birds at high altitude.

Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)

SOUTH AMERICAN PAINTED-SNIPE (Nycticryphes semicollaris)

Our local guide in Mendoza City had one staked out at Piletones Paramillo and we had excellent scope views of it.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

Common along the coast in Chile.

MAGELLANIC SNIPE (Gallinago magellanica)

We flushed one up as we searched for the Diademed Sandpiper-plover at Embalse Yeso.

WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor)

A great spot by Blair at Piletones Paramillo.

LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)

Abundant on the rocky shores of Viña del Mar.

SURFBIRD (Calidris virgata)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Chilean Flamingos were a highlight of our visit to Laguna Llancanello Park.

BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii)

One of the smallest peeps at Piletones Paramillo.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

ANDEAN GULL (Chroicocephalus serranus)

We saw three birds flying around the edges of Embase Yeso.

BROWN-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus maculipennis)

FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

Thousands of birds along the coast in Chile.

KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus)

The standard large gull along the Chilean coast.

BLACK SKIMMER (CINERASCENS) (Rynchops niger cinerascens)

Several individuals resting on a sand bar at the mouth of the Maipo River.

INCA TERN (Larosterna inca)

Having these gorgeous birds nesting right outside the windows of our lodge at Viña del Mar was a real treat.

SNOWY-CROWNED TERN (Sterna trudeaui)

SOUTH AMERICAN TERN (Sterna hirundinacea)

ELEGANT TERN (Thalasseus elegans)

Spheniscidae (Penguins)

HUMBOLDT PENGUIN (Spheniscus humboldti)

We made a special trip to Cachagua to look for this species and found several of them on their nesting colony.

Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)

PERUVIAN BOOBY (Sula variegata)

A common sight from the windows of our hotel in Viña del Mar.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

RED-LEGGED CORMORANT (Poikilocarbo gaimardi)

The most scarce of the cormorant species we saw but we managed to find a few around the penguin colony at Cachagua.

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Our group had a wonderful time visiting Santa Rita Winery.

GUANAY CORMORANT (Leucocarbo bougainvillii)

Far less numerous than the Neotropic Cormorant but we saw them a few times around Viña del Mar.

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

PERUVIAN PELICAN (Pelecanus thagus)

A very obvious presence around the coast in Chile.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)

We found this species at Piletones Paramillo.

BLACK-FACED IBIS (Theristicus melanopis)

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

ANDEAN CONDOR (Vultur gryphus)

It was a bit of a surprise to me that we only saw them on the first day at Valle Nevado above Santiago, but the views we had were excellent.

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

Not a common species in the areas we visited but we saw them towards the end of the tour.

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)


Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)

A brief sighting on our drive to Viña del Mar.

CINEREOUS HARRIER (Circus cinereus)

We spotted this elegant species at Laguna Llancanelo.

HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus)

Common in Chile.

VARIABLE HAWK (Geranoaetus polyosoma)

Seen repeatedly both in Chile and Argentina. We even saw the light and dark morphs of the birds.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had to work hard to see a Diademed Sandpiper-Plover but our efforts paid off with great looks at one bird at Termas del Plomo.

BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus)

Great looks at this species flying low at Farellones on the first day of the tour.

Strigidae (Owls)

LESSER HORNED OWL (Bubo magellanicus)

As we drove up to Farellones on the first day, I pointed out some trees that looked suitable for roosting owls and seconds later we spotted one.

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

A few sightings in Mendoza.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

WHITE-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cactorum)

A localized species that we foujnd at Bosques de Telteca.


Also seen at Bosques de Telteca.

STRIPED WOODPECKER (Dryobates lignarius)

We had great looks at this species at Reserva Rio Clarillo near Santiago.

GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros)

Very common around our lodge at Salentein.

CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris)

Seen briefly at Salentein Winery on the day we arrived.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

CRESTED CARACARA (SOUTHERN) (Caracara plancus plancus)

After being considered a separate species from the northern birds, this species was recently lumped again with the birds from the northern hemisphere.

CHIMANGO CARACARA (Daptrius chimango)

Seen almost every day on our tour.

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

We lost track of how many birds we saw perched on the wires along the way to Embalse Yeso.

APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)

It was very impressive to see one of these guys chasing away a Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle on the first day of the tour near Farellones.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus)

Common both in Chile and Argentina.

BURROWING PARAKEET (Cyanoliseus patagonus)

Multiple good looks at these colorful parakeets in Mendoza.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had wonderful looks at Andean Condor at Farellones.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)

MOUSTACHED TURCA (Pteroptochos megapodius) [E]

Our driver spotted this Chilean endemic for us on the drive up to Farellones.

WHITE-THROATED TAPACULO (Scelorchilus albicollis) [E]

We worked really hard on this one but sadly only a couple of people saw it briefly/

CRESTED GALLITO (Rhinocrypta lanceolata)

We had excellent looks at this charismatic tapaculo at Salentein Winer.

SANDY GALLITO (Teledromas fuscus)

We have missed this species on many previous tours, so I was quite pleased that we had scope views of one on our way to Laguna Llancanelo.

DUSKY TAPACULO (Scytalopus fuscus) [E]

This secretive bird put on an amazing performance for us at Rio Clarillo reserve.

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

COMMON MINER (PATAGONIAN) (Geositta cunicularia cunicularia)

RUFOUS-BANDED MINER (Geositta rufipennis)

RUFOUS-BANDED MINER (Geositta rufipennis fasciata)

CREAMY-RUMPED MINER (Geositta isabellina)

We had great looks at this high altitude specialist at Termas del Plomo when we were looking for the Diademed Sandpiper-Plover.


A fascinating bird that we saw well at Bosques de Telteca in Mendoza.

NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris)

BAND-TAILED EARTHCREEPER (Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus)

We made a side trip near Malargue to look for this unique bird that is closely related to the Crag Chilia that we saw in Chile.

CRAG CHILIA (Ochetorhynchus melanurus) [E]

We went knocking on their door at our go to spot in Chile and sure enough they answered. Great looks at this Chilean endemic.

CHACO EARTHCREEPER (Tarphonomus certhioides)

We had lovely views of this species at Salentein Winery.

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We had lovely views of Chaco Earthcreeper at Salentein Winery.

RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)

Common in Medoza and completely absent from Chile.

WREN-LIKE RUSHBIRD (Phleocryptes melanops)

Nice looks at these little skulkers at Laguna Lllancanelo.


After missing this species at our usual spot at Embalse Yeso it was nice to connect with it at Aconcagua Park.

BUFF-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes fuscus)

GRAY-FLANKED CINCLODES (Cinclodes oustaleti)

Seen side by side with the Buff-winged Cinclodes for comparison at Farellones.

DARK-BELLIED CINCLODES (Cinclodes patagonicus)

One of these was foraging along the edge of a pond while we were having lunch at the restaurant at Matetic Winery. Birds and Wines at its finest!

SEASIDE CINCLODES (Cinclodes nigrofumosus) [E]

Excellent looks at this unique Cinclodes both at Viña del Mar and at the Penguin Colony.

THORN-TAILED RAYADITO (Aphrastura spinicauda)

It took us a lot longer than usual to connect with this one this tour but we eventually found them on the last full day of the tour.

DES MURS'S WIRETAIL (Sylviorthorhynchus desmursii)

We didn't use to see this species on this tour but we have changed the itinerary a bit lately and have found them at the mouth of the Maipo River on the last two tours.

BROWN-CAPPED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura fuliginiceps)

We stopped for lunch at Pueblo del Rio and found this species near the parking lot.

TUFTED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura platensis)

PLAIN-MANTLED TIT-SPINETAIL (AEGITHALOIDES) (Leptasthenura aegithaloides aegithaloides)


We found this species behind the lodge at Salentein.


Scope views of this species at Bosques de Telteca.


Great views on the first day of the tour near Farellones.

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A visit to General San Martin Park in Mendoza City greatly improved our views of Red-tailed Comet.

SHARP-BILLED CANASTERO (Asthenes pyrrholeuca)

STRIPE-CROWNED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca pyrrhophia)

DUSKY-TAILED CANASTERO (Pseudasthenes humicola) [E]

Mike spotted one of these guys sitting high up in at tree at reserva Rio Clarillo. Quite an unusual place for one of these birds.

PATAGONIAN CANASTERO (Pseudasthenes patagonica)

We found one of these on our drive south towards Malargue.

STEINBACH'S CANASTERO (Pseudasthenes steinbachi)

Probably one of the best views we have ever had of this bird on this tour. We found them on the trail adjacent to the restaurant at Pueblo del Rio.

BROWN CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura lophotes)

Great views at Salentein.

WHITE-THROATED CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura gutturalis)

This one made us work harder for it but after a bit of work we managed to see them near Villa 25 de Mayo on our way to Malargue.

SOOTY-FRONTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis frontalis)

Cotingidae (Cotingas)


Great views at Salentein Winery.


We had a good look at this species at Bodega La Vigilia on our way to Mendoza city.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

MANY-COLORED RUSH TYRANT (Tachuris rubrigastra)

Now this is the very definition of eye candy. We saw some adults and some juveniles at Laguna Llancanelo.

YELLOW-BILLED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes flavirostris)

Seen around Mendoza both near Laguna Llancanelo and on our drive north to Mendoza City.

TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus)

Common around Santiago.

TICKING DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx citreola)

Seen in Uspallata. This species has only recently been recognized as a species.

WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (CHILEAN) (Elaenia albiceps chilensis)

Common and abundant in Chile.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We visited the sewage treatment station at Paramillos and had several great looks at waterfowl like the Lake Duck.

WHITE-CRESTED TYRANNULET (WHITE-BELLIED) (Serpophaga subcristata munda)

Karen spotted this one for us.

STRANECK'S TYRANNULET (Serpophaga griseicapilla)

GREATER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (Stigmatura budytoides)

We found this species near Villa 25 de Mayo on our way to Malargue.


WHITE-WINGED BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus aterrimus)

We spotted one of these along the road at Cuesta Lo Prado on our way to Malargue.

HUDSON'S BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus hudsoni)

We found this species in the areas of native habitat behind the lodge at Salentein.

SPECTACLED TYRANT (Hymenops perspicillatus)

Several individuals present around Laguna Llancanelo. The males being very easily identified but the females are a bit confusing at times.

RUFOUS-NAPED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola rufivertex)

Seen up near Embalse Yeso.

WHITE-BROWED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola albilora)

Another species typical of high altitude that we saw both at Farellones and around Embalse Yeso.

FIRE-EYED DIUCON (Pyrope pyrope)

Seen a few times but the bird near the Penguin Colony was particularly cooperative.

BLACK-CROWNED MONJITA (Neoxolmis coronatus)

Scope looks at this striking species during our visit to Bosques de Telteca.


We spotted one of these near Embalse Yeso perched on the rocks by the side of the road.

SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni)

BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)

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Golden-billed Saltator is one of many great species we saw in Mendoza.

CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

Mike spotted the first one for us and we later saw several others in Mendoza.

CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus)

Seen at Bosques de Telteca. This species has the longest Latin name of any bird.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)

Seen every day in Mendoza but completely absent from Chile.


I always say that flycatchers are either very dull or very neat. This one certainly falls on the very neat category and there were plenty of them around Mendoza to keep us amused.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

CHILEAN SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucopyga)

SOUTHERN MARTIN (Progne elegans)

Present in good numbers around Mendoza. They are often a little harder to find than this.


Not a bird we usually see on this tour but there was a group of them near Saletein on the day of our arrival.

BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (PATAGONICA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca patagonica)

Seen almost every day.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus)

GRASS WREN (TUCUMAN) (Cistothorus platensis tucumanus)

This is a recent split from Sedge Wren and there are still several subspecies under the umbrella of this taxon. I suspect further splitting will happen in the future. We found them near Laguna Llancanelo.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)


This Chilean endemic is very common around Santiago.


This species replaced the Chilean Mockingbird once we crossed into Argentina.

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Wren-like Rushbirds can be hard to see well but we had multiple good looks at them.


Less common than the previous two mockingbirds and one that does quite a bit of migrating in South America. Only present in Argentina on this tour.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)

Lots of them at General San Martin Park in Mendoza city.

AUSTRAL THRUSH (Turdus falcklandii)

CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus)

This species was found at the gardens of our Hotel in Uspallata and in Medoza City, both places that have many tall trees that do not occur naturally in the area.

CHIGUANCO THRUSH (Turdus chiguanco)

Karen found the first one and we later saw many more.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

CORRENDERA PIPIT (Anthus correndera)

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus)

Lots of them feeding on thistle at our hotel in Uspallata.

YELLOW-RUMPED SISKIN (Spinus uropygialis)

We found this one at Embalse Yeso.

BLACK-CHINNED SISKIN (Spinus barbatus)

Great views on the first day of the tour near Farellones.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)

We came across this common and widespread species every day on our tour.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)


SCREAMING COWBIRD (Molothrus rufoaxillaris)

This species parasitises the nests of the Grayish Baywings that we saw in good numbers.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This little Dusky Tapaculo was one of the stars of our visit to Rio Clarillo reserve near Santiago.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

AUSTRAL BLACKBIRD (Curaeus curaeus)

A Chilean endemic that is very common around Santiago.

GRAYISH BAYWING (Agelaioides badius)

YELLOW-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus thilius)

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (Paroaria coronata)

Seen at the General San Martin Park in Mendoza City.

RINGED WARBLING FINCH (Microspingus torquatus)

We saw these sharp-looking birds in the native habitat behind Salentein Lodge.

BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Rauenia bonariensis)

There aren't many brighly colored birds on this tour but this one is certainly one of them. We saw them well at Salentein Lodge.


Common around Santiago.

DIUCA FINCH (Diuca diuca)

Common and widespread, we saw them on about half of the days of the tour.

PLUMBEOUS SIERRA FINCH (Geospizopsis unicolor)

We found one on the crossing from Chile to Argentina.

MOURNING SIERRA FINCH (Rhopospina fruticeti)

BAND-TAILED SIERRA FINCH (Rhopospina alaudina)

CARBONATED SIERRA FINCH (Rhopospina carbonaria)

We had one single individual by the road en route to Malargue. Most of them had already migrated out of the area.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Des Mur's Wiretail is more common further south but we managed to pick one up at the mouth of the Maipo River.

GREATER YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis auriventris)

Common at high altitudes in the Andes.

SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)

GRASSLAND YELLOW-FINCH (GRASSLAND) (Sicalis luteola luteiventris)

Several individuals in the grass fields around Laguna llancanelo.

GREAT PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra platensis)

We had great looks at this species around the town of Uspallata on our first day in Mendoza.

DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens)

BAND-TAILED SEEDEATER (Catamenia analis)

Great views in the patch of native habitat behind Salentein.

MANY-COLORED CHACO FINCH (Saltatricula multicolor)

One of several birds that we only saw at Bosques de Telteca.

GOLDEN-BILLED SALTATOR (Saltator aurantiirostris)

We saw this handsome species at Cuesta lo Prado on our way to Malargue.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Eating some grilled steak is the perfect welcome to Argentina.


PICHI (Zaedyus pichiy)

OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

EUROPEAN BROWN HARE (Lepus europaeus)

SOUTHERN CAVY (Microcavia australis)

NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus)

SOUTHERN GRAY FOX (Pseudalopex griseus)

MARINE OTTER (Lontra felina)

SOUTHERN SEA LION (Otaria byronia)

GUANACO (Lama guanicoe)

Totals for the tour: 205 bird taxa and 9 mammal taxa