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Field Guides Tour Report
Chile 2015
Oct 25, 2015 to Nov 14, 2015
Peter Burke & Willy Perez

A small colony of King Penguins at the end of Bahia Inutil on Tierra del Fuego helped to make a long drive worthwhile. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

In my 15+ years of traveling to Chile in November, I have never failed to be impressed by the austral spring and how it can change its impression on a daily basis. Of course, traveling a span of more than 3000 km will induce predictable climate variation, but I'm also talking about annual differences in local moisture/dryness, temperatures, wind, or foggy spells.

This year, we started off with typical wind, rain, and sleet in southern Patagonia -- perhaps a bit too typical! A relentless blow of persistent westerlies dogged us the entire time, and eventually cost us a trip into the Strait of Magellan to visit the National Monument-Magellanic Penguin colony. However, it did not dampen our spirits as we experienced much of what this beautiful land has to offer: superb scenery, wonderful birds and intriguing culture. An example of how stunning the country is? How about watching the Horns of Paine being buffeted by snow and sleet while the sun pours through a slit in the gray skies!

The theme of the trip is birds, of course, but how can one not be just as pleased with the scenery? From the ice cream cone volcanos of the Lake District, to the jagged peaks that surrounded us in El Yeso as we searched for Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, to the endless rock and sand of the earth's driest desert and, finally, to the world's highest freshwater lake, dotted with flamingos and guarded by the volcanoes Parinacota and Pomerape in Lauca National Park, we surely encountered some of the planet's best scenery.

We dealt with the variable climate (which provided us with such great birds) with fortitude; wind, sleet, rain, fog, some warmer temperatures (never really HOT though), and a few biting insects here and there tested our resolve, but we persevered for the birds. We even got to experience a mild earthquake early one morning while in Santiago! Talk about exciting events...

But we did come for the birds, and they didn't disappoint. There are so many to remember, and it would be hard to list all the great ones (aren't they all?), but I should mention a few crowd favorites: the King Penguin colony on Tierra del Fuego; the endearing Magellanic Plovers on a lonely Patagonian shoreline; a group of 15 or so Andean Condors perched along a roadside slope; playing peek-a-boo with the Austral Rail; the chattering, playful antics of Thorn-tailed Rayaditos; the stunning colors of a male Many-colored Rush-Tyrant at a roadside wetland; up close and personal with albatrosses, petrels, and shearwaters on the open Pacific Ocean; visiting the majestic home of the Diademed Sandpiper-Plover in El Yeso; watching the commotion of coots, grebes, flamingos, and waterfowl on Lake Chungara in the high Andes; a flock of 28 Rufous-bellied Seedsnipes at roadside; and a small desert bird (the conebill!) that prefers a dry, gnarled tree called Tamarugo to subsist upon. But perhaps the crown jewel for many was our experience with a female Magellanic Woodpecker as she entertained us with her floppy crest and comical red facial feathering. If it wasn't for her, we would have had to settle for a few distant birds, majestically posed upon Nothofagus snags on a distant hillside!

Willy and I would like to thank you for joining us for this year's Chile trip. We hope this triplist brings back many fond memories. It was a fun experience and a great group to lead. We hope to see you all again in the very near future. Until then, all the best in birding!

--Peter (and Willy)

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)

The enigmatic Coscoroba Swan is quite unlike any other species of swan in the world. Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

LESSER RHEA (PUNA) (Rhea pennata tarapacensis) – A distant troupe on the salar de Parinacota in Lauca.
LESSER RHEA (DARWIN'S) (Rhea pennata pennata) – A common sight in the splendor of the Patagonian steppe.
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
CHILEAN TINAMOU (Nothoprocta perdicaria) – "Stop the press" views of a very cooperative bird that walked out on the road for all to enjoy outside of Santiago. [E]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-NECKED SWAN (Cygnus melancoryphus) – Many opportunties to watch these splendid birds in the south.
COSCOROBA SWAN (Coscoroba coscoroba) – A strange looking swan with the face of a 'rubber ducky'.
ANDEAN GOOSE (Oressochen melanopterus) – Many pairs in the altiplano of the bird-rich Lauca National Park.
UPLAND GOOSE (Chloephaga picta) – These are the abundant sheldgeese that graze the endless Patagonian steppe.
ASHY-HEADED GOOSE (Chloephaga poliocephala) – Perhaps the most dazzling of Chile's waterfowl, these are forest birds that come to the steppe in winter. We saw a fair number still in the steppe, indicating a late spring in the wooded Andes to the west.
RUDDY-HEADED GOOSE (Chloephaga rubidiceps) – One of Chile's rarest birds, we saw a male guarding a hidden female incubating a nest south of Punta Arenas on our first afternoon birding together.
FLYING STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres patachonicus) – Outnumbering its 'grounded' cousin, this Steamer Duck was seen in both marine and freshwater environments in the south.
FLIGHTLESS STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres pteneres) – We had good luck with this species, encountering pairs in a couple places, favoring the kelp beds just offshore.

We found several pairs of Flightless Steamer-Ducks in kelp beds just offshore. Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

CRESTED DUCK (Lophonetta specularioides) – A modest duck with a flashy purple wing speculum when seen in flight. It was common in the south and also in the altiplano of the north.
SPECTACLED DUCK (Speculanas specularis) – This handsome duck is local and hard to find in the southern cone, preferring forested lakes and rivers. We enjoyed a few looks at this bird in Torres del Paine.
CHILOE WIGEON (Anas sibilatrix) – Another handsome duck of the southern cone of South America.
CINNAMON TEAL (Anas cyanoptera) – Widespread and seen at a number of places during the trip.
RED SHOVELER (Anas platalea) – Quite common in Chile; the male is modestly colored compared to the Northern Shoveler, but still sports a long spatulate bill.
YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL (Anas georgica) – A rather drab but common puddle duck of southern and central Chile.
PUNA TEAL (Anas puna) – An abundant teal of the altiplano, we saw them in numbers at Lago Chungara.
YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (FLAVIROSTRIS) (Anas flavirostris flavirostris) – We encountered this subspecies through most of the country south of Arica. A common small duck that looks like a miniature version of the Yellow-billed Pintail.
YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (OXYPTERA) (Anas flavirostris oxyptera) – The whiter sides characterize this subspecies found in the Altiplano of the north. We saw it in Lauca and the oasis valleys of Arica.
BLACK-HEADED DUCK (Heteronetta atricapilla) – A parasitic duck that lays its eggs in other waterfowl and coot's nests. This duck can be difficult to locate, let alone see, as we experienced with a lone male at Lampa.
RUDDY DUCK (ANDEAN) (Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea) – This is the larger of the two "Stifftails" of the southern cone of South America. We saw many on Lago Chungara in Lauca.
LAKE DUCK (Oxyura vittata) – We saw this duck at Laguna El Peral near the coastline in central Chile. It is a smaller version of the Andean Duck but very similar in appearance.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

Some curious Guanacos checked out our vehicle during our drive to Puerta Natales. Photo by participant Maureen Harvey.

CALIFORNIA QUAIL (Callipepla californica) – Probably more common in Chile than its native habitat in North America- we saw and heard them around Santiago in few places.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
WHITE-TUFTED GREBE (Rollandia rolland) – Widespread in Chile, we encountered this bird on a number of wetlands.
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – A single in the wetlands of Lampa.
GREAT GREBE (Podiceps major) – The largest grebe in Chile and quite handsome- some wonderful views of a pair on Tierra del Fuego.
SILVERY GREBE (ANDEAN) (Podiceps occipitalis juninensis) – Abundant on the highland Lake Chungara in Lauca National Park. This was the only location we saw this form of Silvery Grebe.
SILVERY GREBE (PATAGONIAN) (Podiceps occipitalis occipitalis) – We managed rather distant views of this bird in the south at Sierra Baguales and in Torres del Paine, as well as El Peral wetland in central Chile.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
CHILEAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus chilensis) – The widespread flamingo of Chile, found from Tierra del Fuego to the border with Peru/Bolivia. It was always a thrill to see their pink coloration in a windswept, open vista.
ANDEAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicoparrus andinus) – One of the two high Andean flamingo species, they were in good numbers at Lauca this year, sporting their magenta and black plumages.
JAMES'S FLAMINGO (Phoenicoparrus jamesi) – Also called Puna Flamingo, this is the other high altitude flamingo that we had to visit Lauca to see. LIke Andean, it can be sparse some years, but this was a good one!
Spheniscidae (Penguins)
KING PENGUIN (Aptenodytes patagonicus patagonicus) – A long drive was worth the effort as we enjoyed the small colony at the end of Bahia Inutil on Tierra del Fuego.

The Giant Coot is certainly aptly named! Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

HUMBOLDT PENGUIN (Spheniscus humboldti) – We had a few birds swimming along the boat during the pelagic but it was solitary bird at Reñaca that gave us super views.
MAGELLANIC PENGUIN (Spheniscus magellanicus) – Our plans were foiled by the Patagonian winds to visit the Magdelana colony in the Magellan strait however we did see a good number of adults and young birds from both of our ferry rides across the Strait.
Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)
BULLER'S ALBATROSS (Thalassarche bulleri) – Two very spanking adults thrilled us by coming in for chum during our pelagic. This is an uncommon species off the coast of Chile.
SALVIN'S ALBATROSS (Thalassarche salvini) – The most abundant albatross offshore of central Chile; we saw mainly young of the year and a few older birds but no adults. A very pale bird looked like a candidate for White-capped Albatross but didn't show features that ruled out Salvins'.
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche melanophris) – We saw a few adults in the Strait of Magellan and a number of young birds off of Valparaiso.
ROYAL ALBATROSS (NORTHERN) (Diomedea epomophora sanfordi) – One large, gangly youngster made a couple of sweeps past the boat during our Valparaiso pelagic.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL (Macronectes giganteus) – Observed in the Strait of Magellan, off Valparaiso and even Arica on our pelagics.
SOUTHERN FULMAR (Fulmarus glacialoides) – Common in the Strait of Magellan.
CAPE PETREL (Daption capense) – A splashy bird off of Valparaiso during the pelagic was a nice treat.
MASATIERRA PETREL (Pterodroma defilippiana) – Distant views of a couple birds showing the classic Pterodroma flight style during the Valparaiso pelagic were of this species.
WHITE-CHINNED PETREL (Procellaria aequinoctialis) – The more common of the two Procellaria petrels off of Valparaiso.
WESTLAND PETREL (Procellaria westlandica) – Often seen in active wing molt at this time of year, they are distinguished by a dark bill tip from White-chinneds.
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER (Ardenna creatopus) – Chile is the location of the world's breeding population of Pink-footed Shearwater. We saw them in good numbers off Valparaiso and a few off of Arica.
SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea) – Abundant; seen in large numbers offshore of Valparaiso and Arica.
Pelecanoididae (Diving-Petrels)
PERUVIAN DIVING-PETREL (Pelecanoides garnotii) – Well seen during both of our pelagics.
MAGELLANIC DIVING-PETREL (Pelecanoides magellani) – We saw these little guys from the ferry crossings to/from Tierra del Fuego.
Hydrobatidae (Storm-Petrels)
WILSON'S STORM-PETREL (Oceanites oceanicus) – Not a big year for this bird- we saw a handful off of Valparaiso and even on the Porvenir ferry.
ELLIOT'S STORM-PETREL (Oceanites gracilis) – Also called White-vented Storm-Petrel- we saw them off of Arica. A large flock of nearly 1000 birds off of our hotel at dusk feeding in a swarm was something I had never seen before!
MARKHAM'S STORM-PETREL (Oceanodroma markhami) – We poked our faces into some nest burrows at the recently discovered breeding grounds in the Atacama desert and came face to beak with a couple of nestlings.
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)

Two handsome adult Buller's Albatrosses were a bit of a surprise on our pelagic; this species is uncommon in Chilean waters. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

PERUVIAN BOOBY (Sula variegata) – Chile's common Suliid, this is one of the cornerstone species of the Humboldt current.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – The common freshwater cormorant of Chile that doesn't shy away from saltwater either.
RED-LEGGED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax gaimardi) – Very handsome and very common along the central and northern coast of Chile.
MAGELLANIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax magellanicus) – Also known as Rock Cormorant- an attractive cormorant of Patagonian shorelines.
GUANAY CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii) – Another cornerstone species of the Humboldt current, we saw it in central and northern Chile in numbers.
IMPERIAL CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax atriceps atriceps) – The form of Imperial Cormorant known as King Cormorant, it is found more on the Atlantic side of Patagonia (including Punta Arenas).
IMPERIAL CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax atriceps albiventer) – The 'Blue-eyed' form of Imperial Cormorant, it is found mainly in the fjords and Pacific coastline of Patagonian Chile.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
PERUVIAN PELICAN (Pelecanus thagus) – A gargantuan pelican of Pacific South America, and the third member of the trifecta Humboldt current species.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – A distant bird was spotted at Lampa flying in the distance- this is an uncommon bird in Chile.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Scattered sightings in central and northern Chile.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – A group in the Azapa Valley near Arica.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Several in Azapa and the Lluta River mouth.

The Yeso Valley's spectacular surroundings loom large beyond our group as we search for Diademed Sandpiper-Plover. Photo by guide Peter Burke.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Small flocks in central Chile.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (AMERICAN) (Nycticorax nycticorax hoactli) – The lighter of the two forms of Night-Heron in Chile.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (DUSKY) (Nycticorax nycticorax obscurus) – These very dark Night-Herons are a surprise to many observers in the open Patagonian steppe.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – A local species of central Chile we saw a number along the Tolten River south of Temuco.
PUNA IBIS (Plegadis ridgwayi) – A high Andean ibis that we saw in Lauca but also a singleton at the mouth of the Lluta River.
BLACK-FACED IBIS (Theristicus melanopis) – One of Chile's most common birds, especially south of Santiago in the agricultural zone, but also in Patagonia.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Common from Puerto Montt north to Chillan but absent from the northern oasis valleys.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – The dark black bodies and strong magenta colored heads of these southern South American populations are quite different from birds further north!
ANDEAN CONDOR (Vultur gryphus) – Chile is the place to see this bird! I think we pushed 40 birds near Torres del Paine and saw them with wonderful scope views that memorable day.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – A couple of birds were seen in the agricultural zone of central Chile, hovering over fields.
CINEREOUS HARRIER (Circus cinereus) – The patagonian steppe seemed to be full of this bird this year. We saw several birds in the same location a couple of times including display flights.

The Cordilleran Canastero is widespread throughout the high Andes. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

BICOLORED HAWK (CHILEAN) (Accipiter bicolor chilensis) – Always a treat to see, a wonderful adult made low fly-over of the group as we approached the ocean south of Temuco. This is a forest bird that is hard to pin down in the breeding season.
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – We finally nailed a pair circling us at the Hummingbird Garden in the Azapa Valley.
VARIABLE HAWK (Geranoaetus polyosoma) – Widespread in central and northern Chile, the most memorable sighting had to be the active nest at eye-level on the Lo Prado tunnel road. Formerly split into Red-backed and Puna Hawk.
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) – A stately and powerful bird we enjoyed this bird in a few places but none as well as the adult perched along the Lo Prado Road.
WHITE-THROATED HAWK (Buteo albigula) – A southern cone raptor that breeds mainly in Chile and Argentina but is a shy forest buteo. Well maybe not shy...we had point blank looks at a territorial bird at Chillan.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
AUSTRAL RAIL (Rallus antarcticus) – Score!!! We had to work for it, but eventually were rewarded with a wonderful bird that emerged in front of the group for pretty good views!
PLUMBEOUS RAIL (Pardirallus sanguinolentus) – A noisy bird but quite handsome! Some superb views along the Rio Tolten in central Chile.
COMMON GALLINULE (AMERICAN) (Gallinula galeata pauxilla) – Groups were seen in the Azapa valley and the mouth of the Lluta river.
RED-GARTERED COOT (Fulica armillata) – Central Chile's most common coot species- we saw them in the greatest numbers at Lampa but also in the far south of Patagonia.
RED-FRONTED COOT (Fulica rufifrons) – I refer to this coot as the most 'gallinule-like' in its shape and postures. It is absent from the south but we saw them at El Peral and Lampa in good numbers.
GIANT COOT (Fulica gigantea) – What a giant! The nest mounds on Lago Chungara, framed by Volcan Pomerape and Parinacota make for an unforgettable sight.
SLATE-COLORED COOT (Fulica ardesiaca) – Also called Andean Coot- abundant in Lauca and we also saw a few in the Azapa valley at a water storage pond. Here we noted the odd white-shielded form of this species.
WHITE-WINGED COOT (Fulica leucoptera) – The smallest coot of Chile; we saw them in the south and in central Chile. Shield colors vary from white to deep golden/chestnut.
Pluvianellidae (Magellanic Plover)
MAGELLANIC PLOVER (Pluvianellus socialis) – A true endemic of Patagonia; we had to make a special effort to see this wonderful shorebird on Tierra del Fuego. After a long walk we were rewarded with three birds in their nesting habitat.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
PERUVIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus superciliaris) – Now a hard bird to find in Lluta Valley, we lucked out with a pair shortly after we landed in Arica.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (WHITE-BACKED) (Himantopus mexicanus melanurus) – Locally known as "perrito" or little dog, this species is very vocal near nesting territories as we witnesses at Lampa.

An active Variable Hawk nest on the Lo Prado tunnel road was a definite highlight. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

ANDEAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra andina) – Some distant views in Lauca but eventually we got closer ones in the high Andean bofedales near Parinacota.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus) – Common on the beaches of central and northern Chile.
BLACKISH OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus ater) – Very similar in appearance and habitat to the North American Black Oystercatcher; we saw a few in central Chile.
MAGELLANIC OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus leucopodus) – The most terrestrial oystercatcher of Chile- we saw them in the middle of the Patagonian steppe no where near water.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica) – One bird on the beach at Lluta river mouth.
TAWNY-THROATED DOTTEREL (Oreopholus ruficollis) – A special bird of the Patagonian steppe- we were not disappointed with a number of nice views.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (CHILENSIS/FRETENSIS) (Vanellus chilensis chilensis) – An abundant bird of Chile except in the dry northern desert. These birds are different in appearance than all other forms of this species in South America.
TWO-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius falklandicus) – Super views of this handsome little plover of the Patagonian steppe.

A bold Plumbeous Rail along central Chile's Rio Tolten gave us superb opportunities for close study. Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – Unusually high numbers at the mouth of the Lluta River this year.
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus) – These birds are part of a small isolated population in southern Peru and northern Chile.
RUFOUS-CHESTED DOTTEREL (Charadrius modestus) – This bird, to me, compliments the Tawny-throated Dotterel out on the Patagonian steppe, standing out with its flashy white eyebrow. It seems to prefer a slightly higher, drier habitat than its cousin.
DIADEMED SANDPIPER-PLOVER (Phegornis mitchellii) – No trip to Chile is complete without this bird- not only is it a thrill just getting to the location to see it, but the scenery makes the whole day an experience not to be forgotten.
Thinocoridae (Seedsnipes)
RUFOUS-BELLIED SEEDSNIPE (Attagis gayi) – A flock of 28 (!!!) in Lauca was kind enough to hang around as the construction crews got started up for the day along the highway. This is a bird that can be tough to find in the high Andes.
GRAY-BREASTED SEEDSNIPE (Thinocorus orbignyianus) – A rather vocal bird of the Andean bogs, we saw them very well at Yeso and in Lauca.
LEAST SEEDSNIPE (Thinocorus rumicivorus)
Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)
SOUTH AMERICAN PAINTED-SNIPE (Nycticryphes semicollaris) – Yes!!! Four birds were flushed underfoot at Lampa and provided some super views as they glided in for a landing and disappeared into vegetation.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – A couple of birds at the mouth of the Lluta river.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – A few birds in the Lluta valley and at the river mouth.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – Scattered sightings on coastal sites.
WHIMBREL (AMERICAN) (Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus) – Winters along most the Chilean coastline.

The White-chinned Petrel was the more common of the petrels we saw on our Valparaiso pelagic. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

HUDSONIAN GODWIT (Limosa haemastica) – A large flock of birds on a pond near their main wintering site on Tierra del Fuego was a treat indeed! We also had a single at the mouth of the Lluta.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – A couple of birds at Reñaca after our pelagic.
SURFBIRD (Calidris virgata) – Two birds were briefly seen at Reñaca.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – A few at the mouth of the Lluta river.
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii) – Wintering birds had already arrived on Tierra del Fuego, all the way from arctic breeding grounds. We encountered more at several more sights though the country.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – Two birds at the mouth of the Lluta River -a rare bird in Chile.
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (Calidris fuscicollis) – A single with Hudsonian Godwits on Tierra del Fuego.
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) – A group of 16 at the mouth of the Lluta River is a high number for Chile. Most birds winter in northeastern Brazil.
WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri) – We had two birds with Semis at the mouth of the Lluta River, completing a sweep of all the peep sandpipers! These are rare visitors to Chile.
SOUTH AMERICAN SNIPE (MAGELLANIC) (Gallinago paraguaiae magellanica) – A common snipe of Patagonia where we saw displaying birds. We also had a few flush at Lampa.
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) – A group was resting with Hudsonian Godwits on a pond in Tierra del Fuego. This species winters extensively in the Patagonian steppe.
Stercorariidae (Skuas and Jaegers)
CHILEAN SKUA (Stercorarius chilensis) – These birds are a part of the landscape of Tierra del Fuego, cruising over the steppe, but are just as much at home on the open ocean, where we saw them on our pelagic as well.
PARASITIC JAEGER (Stercorarius parasiticus) – Wintering birds from the arctic chased terns during our Arica pelagic.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
ANDEAN GULL (Chroicocephalus serranus) – This handsome gull of the Andes was common up on Lauca.

It took a bit of persistence, but we eventually found some Andean Flickers at a colony near Parinacota. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

BROWN-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus maculipennis) – Widespread and common through much of Chile; quite similar to Europe's Black-headed Gull.
DOLPHIN GULL (Leucophaeus scoresbii) – A very beautiful gull of the southern cone of South America; we saw them well right around Punta Arenas and Porvenir.
GRAY GULL (Leucophaeus modestus) – The entire world's population breeds in the Atacama desert of northern Chile; we saw this coastal species in central and northern Chile.
FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan) – A very strange fall for this species; we saw hardly a smattering of birds when thousands are normally present, filtering south along the west coast of South America to their wintering grounds. Apparently a major weather disturbance displaced hundreds to the east of their normal migration route in North America in early November, causing a delay in their arrival.
BELCHER'S GULL (Larus belcheri) – Forms a superspecies with Olrog's Gull of coastal Argentina- formerly lumped as Band-tailed Gull. Common around Arica.
KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus) – Widespread and common except in the north where it was conspicuously absent.
INCA TERN (Larosterna inca) – Possibly the world's most beautiful tern- the views of breeding birds outside the Hotel Oceanic were unforgettable.
SOUTH AMERICAN TERN (Sterna hirundinacea) – We encountered this tern throughout the trip except in the north. A larger version of an Arctic Tern with an all red bill and clean wings.
SNOWY-CROWNED TERN (Sterna trudeaui) – A few nice birds along the Rio Tolten in central Chile- this is a tough bird to find in Chile.
ELEGANT TERN (Thalasseus elegans) – Small numbers had begun to arrive in northern Chile as we saw them from the coast and on our pelagic.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Widespread.
SPOT-WINGED PIGEON (ALBIPENNIS) (Patagioenas maculosa albipennis) – A recent colonizer of Putre in the north- we saw them there. It hadn't colonized before we published the guide in 2003.

The froglike calls of the Croaking Ground-Dove were a regular part of the tour soundtrack. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

CHILEAN PIGEON (Patagioenas araucana) – A Band-tailed Pigeon that has been dipped in red wine; a common around Temuco.
PICUI GROUND-DOVE (Columbina picui) – This is a widespread ground-dove in central Chilean lowlands; we saw them in the streets of Chillan.
CROAKING GROUND-DOVE (Columbina cruziana) – The frog-like croaks of this bird were a part of the oasis valleys of the north.
BARE-FACED GROUND-DOVE (Metriopelia ceciliae) – A handsome ground-dove of the terraced alfalfa fields of Putre.
BLACK-WINGED GROUND-DOVE (Metriopelia melanoptera) – We saw a pair in Yeso but then encountered many more in the surroundings of Putre.
WEST PERUVIAN DOVE (Zenaida meloda) – A large, conspicuous dove of the oasis valleys of the north, much like a White-winged Dove of North America.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Common except in the north.
Strigidae (Owls)
AUSTRAL PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium nana) – We enjoyed some fine views of pair at the Termas de Chillan as they tolerated a mobbing flock of smaller birds.
RUFOUS-LEGGED OWL (Strix rufipes) – Tom brought our attention to a silent bird that came in to our playback.
SHORT-EARED OWL (Asio flammeus) – A bird north of Puerto Natales on our way to Torres del Paine in the early morning sun from the bus.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
BAND-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Systellura longirostris) – Just when we thought we were done birding for the day in Putre- a cooperative bird sat under a street light outside of our lodgings as we returned from dinner.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – Chile's only reliable spot is a Eucalyptus grove on the outskirts of Putre where only a few people caught a glimpse of it.

The handsome Rufous-collared Sparrow just might be the most common bird in Chile! Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

GREEN-BACKED FIRECROWN (Sephanoides sephaniodes) – Chile's common forest hummingbird of the central zone, this species covers a range of habitat from Matorral scrub to wet Valdivian forest. A splendid male gave us a show taking a bath in Temuco.
ANDEAN HILLSTAR (Oreotrochilus estella) – Common in Putre, with many nests lining the hotel lodgings and birds feeding in the plentiful flowers lining the fields.
WHITE-SIDED HILLSTAR (Oreotrochilus leucopleurus) – A few quick glimpses were surpassed by a nest in a large boulder that our friend Fernando Diaz put on onto above Santiago.
GIANT HUMMINGBIRD (Patagona gigas peruviana) – What a show! Eye level (and below!) looks at birds feeding, fighting, sitting, name Putre.
GIANT HUMMINGBIRD (Patagona gigas gigas) – A couple of birds on our trip over the Lo Prado tunnel en route to Valparaiso/Viña del Mar.
CHILEAN WOODSTAR (Eulidia yarrellii) – Check! A territorial male, guarding a patch of lantana flowers in the Azapa Valley gave us wonderful viewing. One of Chile's rarest birds, it is not an easy bird to find nowadays.
OASIS HUMMINGBIRD (Rhodopis vesper) – The common hummer of the northern oasis valleys of Chile; this species is now spreading as far south as Santiago- a full 500 km south of its previous known range. We even enjoyed a couple of nests in the Hummingbird Garden of the Azapa.
PERUVIAN SHEARTAIL (Thaumastura cora) – Although it is thought to be one of the main causes of Chilean Woodstar's decline in recent decades, this is still a pretty smashing looking hummer with its long tail streamers.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
STRIPED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis lignarius) – A pair in Temuco's Cerro Nielol park stayed high, but did hang in there for quite sometime.
CHILEAN FLICKER (Colaptes pitius) – These short-tailed flickers are widespread in central Chile and we enjoyed them a few times during the trip.
ANDEAN FLICKER (Colaptes rupicola) – It took us a bit of time but we eventually found them in a colony near the town of Parinacota in Lauca.
MAGELLANIC WOODPECKER (Campephilus magellanicus) – Cha-ching! Always a bird that tops the 'most wanted' for a tour of Chile. We enjoyed up to seven birds at Termas de Chillan over a two day spread culminating with a very cooperative female that fed and stayed out in the open right over our bus.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
WHITE-THROATED CARACARA (Phalcoboenus albogularis) – A very local bird of the southern cone of South America. Sierra Baguales came through for us, with a nice pair, including a bird that walked about on a hillside.
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus) – A larger, bulkier and blacker version of the Crested Caracara of northern South America and North America. Common in the steppe of Patagonia.
CHIMANGO CARACARA (Milvago chimango) – Widespread and common; an ecological replacement of corvids.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Seen regularly through the trip.
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – Some simply superb views of a hunting pair in Putre; the "Twiggy" of the falcon clan.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A few birds in scattered locations; not sure of their subspecific identity as the resident cassini is as widespread as the arctic wintering tundrius.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) – A recent colonizer (introduced) of Santiago, this parakeet is found naturally on the other side of the Andes.
AUSTRAL PARAKEET (Enicognathus ferrugineus) – We saw this bird well at Termas de Chillan, in noisy flocks that fed in Antarctic Beech that were leafing out.
SLENDER-BILLED PARAKEET (Enicognathus leptorhynchus) – Eventually we had great looks at Cerro Nielol of this endemic parakeet, with its crazy-long upper mandible. [E]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)

The jagged peaks of Torres del Paine must be among the most famous mountain profiles in the world. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

CHESTNUT-THROATED HUET-HUET (Pteroptochos castaneus) – This is a handsome tapaculo- perhaps the best looking one- and we saw it very well at Termas de Chillan. The deep, hooting call just adds to the special character of this bird.
BLACK-THROATED HUET-HUET (Pteroptochos tarnii) – Unlike its cousin, this bird remained elusive for the group. playing hard-to-get in Cerro Nielol. We heard many of them there though!
MOUSTACHED TURCA (Pteroptochos megapodius) – You have to love Turcas- usually pretty easy to see (for a Tapaculo) and big! Our first bird seemed to follow us up the mountain road at Farallones! [E]
WHITE-THROATED TAPACULO (Scelorchilus albicollis) – Always a tough bird- we managed to get a few folks on a bird at Lo Prado, but it didn't want to stick around for prolonged looks. [E]
CHUCAO TAPACULO (Scelorchilus rubecula) – A enigmatic bird of the Valdivian rainforest, the lovely Chucao gave us a couple looks at Lahuen Nadi forest preserve outside of Puerto Montt.
OCHRE-FLANKED TAPACULO (Eugralla paradoxa) – Another tough to see tapaculo- we tried to bring out a couple of responding birds but they didn't want to be seen.
MAGELLANIC TAPACULO (Scytalopus magellanicus) – A lovely white-crowned bird came in very close to the group at Lahuen Nadi; we heard it a few other places during the tour.
DUSKY TAPACULO (Scytalopus fuscus) – Two separate birds called in response to playback in central Chile but failed to come into view. [E]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
COMMON MINER (PATAGONIAN) (Geositta cunicularia cunicularia) – This is an abundant bird of the Patagonian steppe on mainland South America, but tough to find on Tierra del Fuego. Some great looks from a responsive bird.
PUNA MINER (Geositta punensis) – A high altitude miner of the north, we saw it in Lauca.
RUFOUS-BANDED MINER (Geositta rufipennis fasciata) – This is a common miner of high altitudes in central Chile. It was very common above Santiago both days we went high.

Beauty or beast? The elegant Peruvian Sheartail may be contributing to the ongoing decline of the Chilean Woodstar. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

SHORT-BILLED MINER (Geositta antarctica) – A specialty of Tierra del Fuego, this bird is most closely related to the Creamy-rumped Miner of the high Andes to the north. We saw it well en route to seeing the Magellanic Plover.
CREAMY-RUMPED MINER (Geositta isabellina) – Check! Not an easy bird to find in the high Andean slopes above Santiago, but we had a very responsive male near La Parva ski resort.
WHITE-THROATED TREERUNNER (Pygarrhichas albogularis) – The ecological equivalent of a Nuthatch in the Ovenbird family. Fairly common in the Valdivian and Patagonian forests of Chile.
STRAIGHT-BILLED EARTHCREEPER (Ochetorhynchus ruficaudus) – A relative of the Treerunner, but found in the pre-puna scrub of the High Andes. We brought one in just above Putre.
CRAG CHILIA (Ochetorhynchus melanurus) – Very nice looks at this endemic furnariid of central Chile- reminiscent of a Canyon Wren of North America in appearance and behavior. [E]
WREN-LIKE RUSHBIRD (Phleocryptes melanops) – It took a bit of time to get into windless conditions to pull out a "trabajador" (the worker) from the rushes. However it was at Lampa that we got some nice looks at this bird.
PATAGONIAN FOREST EARTHCREEPER (Upucerthia saturatior) – This is a significant sighting in that few birders have set eyes on this newly split species. Formerly lumped with Scale-breasted Earthcreeper, this is a bird of Andean forests, not the open Patagonian steppe or high Andean puna that its close relative survives in. We had a beautiful experience with a bird at Termas de Chillan.
SCALE-THROATED EARTHCREEPER (Upucerthia dumetaria) – Seen at several locations in Patagonia but best seen above Santiago in Farallones.
WHITE-THROATED EARTHCREEPER (Upucerthia albigula) – A very cooperative bird gave us super views in Putre.
BUFF-BREASTED EARTHCREEPER (Upucerthia validirostris) – Formerly its own species, Plain-breasted Earthcreeper, it has been lumped. A pair above Putre offered perfect views along a stone terrace just below the group.
BUFF-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes fuscus) – A common Andean bird of most of Chile, except the north where it is replaced by its sister species, Cream-winged Cinclodes. Formerly lumped with it as Bar-winged Cinclodes.
CREAM-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes albiventris albiventris) – The northern counterpart of Buff-winged Cinclodes, but looks mostly like White-winged Cinclodes. We saw them around Putre and in Lauca.

Creamy-rumped Miner can be a tough bird to find, but not this year! Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

GRAY-FLANKED CINCLODES (Cinclodes oustaleti) – A nice chance to study the differences with Buff-winged Cinclodes in Farallones during our day above Santiago.
WHITE-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes atacamensis) – A larger, more colorful species than Cream-winged Cinclodes that we saw in Lauca.
DARK-BELLIED CINCLODES (Cinclodes patagonicus) – We saw this dark, large cinclodes in the south along shorelines and wet areas of Patagonia. Like the Gray-flanked, it is darker than Buff-winged Cinclodes.
SEASIDE CINCLODES (Cinclodes nigrofumosus) – A cooperative bird at Reñaca gave us some great views of this Chilean endemic. [E]
THORN-TAILED RAYADITO (Aphrastura spinicauda) – Always a trip favorite; a delightful denizen of the Nothofagus (Antarctic Beech) forests of Chile. We saw them in a number of our forested sites.
DES MURS'S WIRETAIL (Sylviorthorhynchus desmursii) – What great views of this long tailed ovenbird that loves Bamboo in Lahuen Nadi!
PLAIN-MANTLED TIT-SPINETAIL (GRISESCENS) (Leptasthenura aegithaloides grisescens) – The form of the lowland deserts that we saw in the Chaca Valley south of Arica while searching for the Tamarugo Conebill.
PLAIN-MANTLED TIT-SPINETAIL (BERLEPSCHI) (Leptasthenura aegithaloides berlepschi) – This is the highland form of the northern Andes we saw in Lauca and above Putre.
PLAIN-MANTLED TIT-SPINETAIL (AEGITHALOIDES) (Leptasthenura aegithaloides aegithaloides) – The widespread form that we saw around Santiago and Chillan; these birds are quite Chickadee-like in the way they hang from branches to forage.
PLAIN-MANTLED TIT-SPINETAIL (PALLIDA) (Leptasthenura aegithaloides pallida) – The ghostly pale form of the Patagonian steppe that we saw while searching for the Magellanic Plover.
STREAKED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura striata) – A nice pair visited us while we birded outside our lodgings in Putre.
CREAMY-BREASTED CANASTERO (DARK-WINGED) (Asthenes dorbignyi arequipae) – Very noisy Canasteros of the Putre area, we saw them aggressively approaching our playback.
AUSTRAL CANASTERO (Asthenes anthoides) – A last ditch effort to pull out this species north of Puerto Natales was very successful- a cooperative pair gave excellent views.

Semidomesticated alpacas are regular in Lauca NP; their owners "brand" them by weaving colorful tassles into their wool. Photo by participant Maureen Harvey.

CORDILLERAN CANASTERO (Asthenes modesta) – Super views in Sierra Baguales, but again in Lauca; this is a widespread canastero of the high Andes.
SHARP-BILLED CANASTERO (Asthenes pyrrholeuca) – Our first canastero of the trip; we had a pair come in close at the foot of Sierra Baguales where we saw their long tails and heard their distinctive song. We had it again above Farallones.
CANYON CANASTERO (Asthenes pudibunda) – A speciality of the north, we saw this canastero along the stone fence walls near our hotel in Putre.
DUSKY-TAILED CANASTERO (Pseudasthenes humicola) – These are noisy Canasteros of the matorral (scrubby spiny forests) of central Chile; our trip over Lo Prado tunnel gave us some great views. [E]
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
YELLOW-BILLED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes flavirostris) – Found in the higher slopes of the northern Andes of Chile; we saw them in Putre near our hotel.
TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus) – Delightfully active and common, we saw these little flycatchers in a number of locations in the Southern Beech forests.
WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (CHILEAN) (Elaenia albiceps chilensis) – The migrant White-crested Elaenia that reaches all the way to Patagonian forests of the south. We found them commonly in the forests of central and southern Chile.
WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (PERUVIAN) (Elaenia albiceps modesta) – The resident population of the northern valleys; it has a longer crest and duller wingbars.
MANY-COLORED RUSH TYRANT (Tachuris rubrigastra) – This show-stopper gave us a view to remember along the Tolten River!
BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (RUFESCENT) (Myiophobus fasciatus rufescens) – A cryptic species of the oasis valleys- this is a deep rufous colored form of the Bran-colored Flycatcher that is isolated from the rest of the population by a range of very high mountains! Watch for a new species to be announced.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Always a spectacular bird.

Cinnamon-bellied Ground-Tyrants were common throughout Patagonia. Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

AUSTRAL NEGRITO (Lessonia rufa) – The 'colegial' (or school-boy) is the local name for a bird that looks like it's wearing a backpack. Very common in the south.
ANDEAN NEGRITO (Lessonia oreas) – Found only in the northern Andes of Chile, it is separated most easily from Austral by its pale wings in flight.
SPECTACLED TYRANT (Hymenops perspicillatus) – We observed the flashy males and their flight displays along the Tolten River.
SPOT-BILLED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola maculirostris) – A single bird in a large flock of White-browed Ground Tyrants on our day birding the Yeso Valley. A sparse bird in the Andes that typically is higher up in the mountains at this time.
PUNA GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola juninensis) – This was a ground-tyrant of the northern Andes of Lauca; similar to White-browed in appearance but paler overall.
WHITE-FRONTED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola albifrons) – The largest of the Ground-tyrants; these big boys were up in Lauca bouncing around the bofedales!
OCHRE-NAPED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola flavinucha) – A good year for this species- it can be tough if enough snow has melted high up so that they have disappeared from lower elevations. We saw it in Sierra Baguales and Farallones.
WHITE-BROWED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola albilora) – The common Ground-tyrant of central Chile.
CINNAMON-BELLIED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola capistratus) – We saw these handsome ground-tyrants in Patagonia throughout our time in the south.
BLACK-FRONTED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola frontalis) – Another large ground-tyrant that we found high up in the central Andes at Valle Nevado and the Yeso Valley.
BLACK-BILLED SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis montanus) – The smallest of the shrike-tyrants in Chile, we saw this one best above ski resort at La Parva.
GREAT SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis lividus) – A rather distant look at a bird as we climbed up to Farallones. The bird interrupted your leader as he was taking a break behind the bus and wasn't kind enough to remain close by for prolonged looks.
GRAY-BELLIED SHRIKE-TYRANT (MICROPTERUS) (Agriornis micropterus micropterus) – This is a southern form of a widespread species of the Andes with large dark throat streaking; the northern form of Chile has weak, thin throat streaking and is very local as well.
FIRE-EYED DIUCON (Xolmis pyrope) – A familiar bird of the Chilean countryside, this flycatcher has a lovely gray tail and deep scarlet eyes.
CHOCOLATE-VENTED TYRANT (Neoxolmis rufiventris) – Another enigmatic bird of the windswept steppe of Patagonia; this graceful flycatcher was flushed a few times and posed for looks during our lonely drive along the Argentinian border.
WHITE-BROWED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca leucophrys) – A bird constructing nest in Putre offered some nice views of this well marked flycatcher.
PATAGONIAN TYRANT (Colorhamphus parvirostris) – We observed this Valdivian forest specialty well at Lahuen Nadi but also in Chillan.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
RUFOUS-TAILED PLANTCUTTER (Phytotoma rara) – Our best views were as we climbed up Sierra Baguales, when a pair posed next to the bus in a small shrub.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (PERUVIANA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca peruviana) – A dingier, browner backed version of this swallow species that lives in the valleys and highlands of the north of Chile.
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (PATAGONICA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca patagonica) – This is the subspecies associated with most of Chile, the highly migratory, more colorful form of Blue-and-white Swallow.

A surprisingly tame Culpeo Fox entertained us along the shore of the Yeso Reservoir. Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

ANDEAN SWALLOW (Orochelidon andecola) – We caught up to this one in a borrow pit that held this species and Blue-and-white Swallows just before heading down into Putre after our day in Lauca.
CHILEAN SWALLOW (Tachycineta meyeni) – Widespread, common and beautiful.
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – A very large group foraging in the Lluta valley as we climbed towards Putre. Wintering birds from North America.
BARN SWALLOW (AMERICAN) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) – Like the former species, these are wintering from North American populations. Many were quite far along in their wing molt.
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – We spied a couple of birds in a flock of wintering swallows in the Lluta valley.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon tecellatus) – The form of House Wren found in the northern oasis valleys; it has a well marked tail pattern.
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon chilensis) – Common in the rest of Chile at lower elevations.
SEDGE WREN (AUSTRAL) (Cistothorus platensis hornensis) – Plenty of these birds in the south this year; recent work has suggested that this large, buffy Sedge Wren of the south be re-named the 'Austral Wren'. All of the South American Sedge/Grass Wren group is likely to be split up into a number of new taxa soon.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
AUSTRAL THRUSH (Turdus falcklandii) – A common bird of most of Chile, except the desert north.
CHIGUANCO THRUSH (CHIGUANCO) (Turdus chiguanco chiguanco) – We found this large thrush only in Putre.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
CHILEAN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus thenca) – A loud, conspicuous endemic of central Chile; a marvelous singer and pretty flashy for a Mockingbird! [E]

The Long-tailed Meadowlark is widespread throughout Chile, and a favorite of many Chileans -- for obvious reasons! Photo by participant Dave Harvey.

PATAGONIAN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus patagonicus) – We scored a pair of this local species at the foot of Sierra Baguales.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
CORRENDERA PIPIT (Anthus correndera) – With such a distinctive song and flight display, you would think it would have a much flashier plumage. Well, okay, it doesn't but then again, it's not bad for a pipit!
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Pipraeidea bonariensis darwinii) – Now here's a flashy bird -- the adult males are very deeply colored with gold and sky blue. We saw it in Putre but also down low in the Lluta valley.
CINEREOUS CONEBILL (Conirostrum cinereum) – Widespread in the northern oasis valleys as well as the highlands around Putre. A small nervous bird with a large white 'handkerchief' on its wing.
TAMARUGO CONEBILL (Conirostrum tamarugense) – A last day's effort was made worthwhile when we managed to find one thanks to Willy's persistence. A tough bird to find outside of northern Chile, and even here it's very local.
BLACK-THROATED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa brunneiventris) – This flashy little tanager was very cooperative in Putre, with males, females and young birds showing well for the group.
BLACK-HOODED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus atriceps) – This attractive Sierra-Finch was found in Lauca and in Putre during our time in the north.
GRAY-HOODED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus gayi) – A widespread Sierra-Finch in Chile; we saw it in the south on the open steppe and again above Santiago in the mountains. It can be a tough bird to distinguish from the following species.
PATAGONIAN SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus patagonicus) – The first part of the tour gave us lots of practice with the sierra-finch identification. The Andean forests were home to this species, which were often heard giving their sweet songs.
MOURNING SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus fruticeti) – We saw a couple of these in south and central Chile but it wasn't until Putre where this bird is very common that we observed it well.
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus unicolor) – A high andean Sierra-Finch, the sexes are quite different like most of the genus. The all gray males and streaky females were seen in Chillan, El Yeso and Lauca.

The balcony view from our lodge of the Rio Serrano valley in Torres del Paine NP is none too shabby! Photo by participant Maureen Harvey.

ASH-BREASTED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus plebejus) – Very reminiscent of a basic plumaged Chipping Sparrow- we saw some small groups above Putre.
WHITE-WINGED DIUCA-FINCH (Diuca speculifera) – These guys are the 'Rosy-Finches' of the Andes- long torpedo-like bodies and inhabitants of high altitudes. Their steely-blue bodies are boldly patterned with patches of white.
COMMON DIUCA-FINCH (Diuca diuca) – This is a very familiar countryside bird of central Chile, and one of the best songsters. We saw them throughout our travels in the central zone.
WHITE-BRIDLED FINCH (Melanodera melanodera) – A very handsome finch of the open Patagonian steppe. We usually spotted them as a flash of lemon yellow wings against the earthy tones of the landscape as we drove along the Argentine border.
SLENDER-BILLED FINCH (Xenospingus concolor) – A bird of the oasis valleys of the north; their thin orange bills contrast beautifully with their slaty bodies. The young birds are more difficult to recognize as they appear duller and streaked.
GREATER YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis auriventris) – This is the largest Yellow-Finch and a high altitude species that we saw above Santiago in the vicinity of the ski lodges and up in El Yeso.
GREENISH YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis olivascens) – The highlands of the north is where we found this yellow-finch.
PATAGONIAN YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis lebruni) – Our first yellow-finch of the trip and one most easily seen on the island of Tierra del Fuego. It commonly uses slips and sand banks to build its nesting tunnel into.
GRASSLAND YELLOW-FINCH (GRASSLAND) (Sicalis luteola luteiventris) – The lowlands of central Chile are teeming with this small passerine. It was found at most stops we made in the vicinity of the Pan-american Highway between Puerto Montt and Santiago.
CHESTNUT-THROATED SEEDEATER (Sporophila telasco) – A tiny bird of the oasis valleys of the north. The bolder marked males often were accompanied by the buffy females.
BAND-TAILED SEEDEATER (Catamenia analis) – We saw this seedeater up high in Putre and environs. The tail flashes a white band much like the pattern of a Magnolia Warbler.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)

The Crested Duck's plumage is somewhat modest and subdued -- except for that flashy purple speculum, of course. Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Maybe the most common bird in Chile; we enjoyed 'a ruffie' or two every day of the trip.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
PERUVIAN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella bellicosa) – Only found in Chile in the oasis valleys of the north, this is a shorter billed, shorter tailed version of the Long-tailed Meadowlark.
LONG-TAILED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella loyca) – The widespread meadowlark of Chile, the Loica is a favorite bird of the countryside for many Chileans. And it's easy to see why!
AUSTRAL BLACKBIRD (Curaeus curaeus) – We saw this icterid commonly in the south and central zones of Chile. Somewhat plain in appearance, this bird has a great vocal repertoire.
YELLOW-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus thilius) – A small marsh blackbird, Yellow-wingeds look similar to North American Red-wingeds in pattern but are in fact not closely related at all.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – Most commonly seen in the central zone of Chile; we also the dark form of the female in the oasis valleys of the north.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus bolivianus) – We finally caught up to this attractive siskin in Putre and the oasis valleys of Arica.
BLACK SISKIN (Spinus atratus) – Some nice views in Lauca of this high altitude siskin.
YELLOW-RUMPED SISKIN (Spinus uropygialis) – A quick look at a decent sized flock above Putre was our only encounter with this bird this year.
BLACK-CHINNED SISKIN (Spinus barbatus) – Chile's most common and widespread siskin.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Widespread.


If the Sedge Wren complex is split as expected, the large, buffy birds of southern Chile will become "Austral Wrens." Photo by participant Merrill Lester.

OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus) – Introduced and common. [I]
EUROPEAN BROWN HARE (Lepus europaeus) – Introduced and even more common! [I]
NORTHERN MOUNTAIN VISCACHA (Lagidium peruanum) – Dopey looking rodents of the Andes with long tails and long ears- a relative of the Chinchilla.
DUSKY DOLPHIN (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) – Large numbers of this dolphin during our Arica pelagic. Great jumpers!
PEALE'S DOLPHIN (Lagenorhynchus australis) – A couple of distant individuals during our first crossing of the Strait of Magellan to Porvenir.
COMMERSON'S DOLPHIN (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) – This attractive little dolphin was seen distantly but often during our second crossing of the Strait of Magellan.
BURMEISTER'S PORPOISE (Phocoena spinipinnis) – This is a difficult species to see off of the coast of southern South America. A single individual made a quick porpoise near the boat during our Arica pelagic.
ANTARCTIC MINKE WHALE (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) – A very large pod of individuals were spotted during our return trip of the Valparaiso pelagic- quite a site to see so many spouts!
FIN WHALE (Balaenoptera physalus) – Up to half a dozen of these large whales were seen during our Valparaiso pelagic.
BLUE WHALE (Balaenoptera musculus) – Our captain Franco Romo confirmed the presence of at least one Blue Whale during the pelagic off of Valparaiso. Blues are paler, with a very small dorsal fin near the back end of the body.
SOUTHERN GRAY FOX (Pseudalopex griseus) – Widespread and especially common on the steppe of Patagonia.
CULPEO FOX (Pseudalopex culpaeus) – A very tame individual along the shoreline at the Yeso reservoir.
SOUTHERN SEA LION (Otaria byronia) – Abundant in the Humboldt current off of Chile.
GUANACO (Lama guanicoe) – Impressive and stately, these camellids are most common on the steppe of Patagonia. Densities such as we saw in Torres del Paine are surpassed nowhere else.
LLAMA (Lama glama) – The domesticated form of the Guanaco.
ALPACA (Lama pacos) – The domesticated form of the Vicuna.
VICUNA (Vicugna vicugna) – Another camellid of the Andes, this is a mammal of the northern mountains of the country. Once very uncommon, they are now recovering very well in Lauca.
ANDEAN DEER (Hippocamelus antisensis) – A lifer mammal for me; this is a shy, retiring animal. Its cousin, the Southern Andean Deer, is endangered and known as the Huemul in Chile. It is on the Chilean coat of arms, along with the Condor.


Totals for the tour: 281 bird taxa and 18 mammal taxa