A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Chile 2023

November 10-30, 2023 with Willy Perez & local guide guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
These Lesser Rheas were seen at Ruta Pampa Larga in the south. This is the Darwin's subspecies of Lesser rhea, but we saw both Darwin's and the Puna subspecies on the tour. Photo by guide Willy Perez.

I always find Chile to be the most fascinating country, with the most amazing landscapes, incredible coastline, fantastic Andes mountains, lakes, spectacular forests and of course, the vast Atacama desert. We did the usual itinerary from the bottom to the top, starting with our first flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas, where the true adventure started. We crossed to the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, where we saw the King Penguins that were the favorite birds for some people. On our way back to the mainland, we saw the playful Commerson's Dolphins, known also as Panda Dolphins or even Skunk Dolphins, for their black and white color combination. Before leaving the South, we managed to see Spectacled Ducks, Black-necked Swans, Lesser Rheas, and many Guanacos. Even I saw a lifer, with the Austral Rail that showed up nicely for us! But the highlight of the South for many people was the Puma in Torres del Paine.

When we got to the Lakes district, where we started to look for Tapaculos and Huet-huets, we felt that we were in another country. Very wet forest with bamboo and soggy leafy ground was the perfect place for the elusive Black-throated Huet-huet that surprised us by coming out to the open for the best views ever, until we saw them again in Cerro Nielol later on the trip. Staying two nights in Chilean gave us a good opportunity to look for the Chestnut-throated Huet-huet, and we saw it very well during our second day, but we also had fantastic views of Chucao Tapaculo and possibly the most wanted bird of the trip, the stunning Magellanic Woodpecker. Also at Chilean, we had a very successful encounter with Rufous-legged Owl.

The weather was kind to us all the way, but the best was for our pelagic trip in Valparaiso in the central part of Chile. Overcast, some wind but not too much and the birds were very active. Several species of Albatrosses and many other sea birds kept us busy there. For several people, the number of birds on the Maipo estuary was the biggest event; the thousands of gulls, terns, skimmers and many waders were incredible. El Yeso and Farellones didn't disappoint us either. On our way to el Yeso, we saw the Crag Chilia, Creamy-rumped Miner and the rarer Thick-billed Siskin. Farellones was superb, with Andean Condors, Mountain Caracaras and many other nice birds, but the star of the show that day was the Lesser Horned Owl.

From Santiago we flew to the most northern part of the country, where we spent our last five days of the trip. After we landed in Arica and had a quick breakfast, we did a lot of birding on our way to the Altiplano. Peruvian Meadowlarks were our first encounters along the desert, follow by Peruvian Thick-knee. The day got better and better, especially for rarer birds in Chile, like Red-eyed Vireo, Eastern Kingbird, and even a Southern Martin that we thought at the beginning was a Peruvian Martin.

With all this excitement, we managed to get to the Altiplano where almost all the birds there were new for our trip. 3 species of Flamingos, Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Giant Coots and many other water birds were superb. For several of us, the best birds of the Altiplano were the Puna Tinamous that took a while to find. Back in the desert, we still had the challenge to find possibly the most endangered species in Chile, the Chilean Woodstar, so we took a very special trip to find this tiny little hummingbird. We saw several females, even nesting, and some people saw a male, so it was mission accomplished for that species, but while looking for the hummingbird, we saw the very handsome Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Pied-crested Tit-Tyrant and the unique Tamarugo Conebill. This year, possibly because it was an El Nino year, there were more migrant birds that are rare in Chile, which made our trip more exciting for Lalo and me.

But it was not just the birds that are superb in Chile. What about eating lunch with the waves crashing behind us, a restaurant with no roof, or a picnic lunch watching the snow.....? It was incredible. Everything worked well and we also saw many different land and marine mammals, lizards, insects and of course, a lot of nice flowers and plants.

Lalo and I really enjoyed sharing all these magnificent birds with a really nice bunch of people, so I would like to say a big thank you to all of you for coming on this tour.

—A big hug from cold Dorset, 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)

LESSER RHEA (PUNA) (Rhea pennata tarapacensis)

Several of them were seen at the last stop on the Altiplano when we were watching Flamingos.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Magellanic Woodpecker is a much-wanted bird, and we were able to get a good look at this one. Photo by participant Don Burlett.

LESSER RHEA (DARWIN'S) (Rhea pennata pennata)

Common on the mainland while we were driving through the Patagonian steppe, but not in Tierra del Fuego.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)

ORNATE TINAMOU (Nothoprocta ornata)

PUNA TINAMOU (Tinamotis pentlandii)

Tinamous are always hard to see, but a pair of this species were very responsive and came close enough for fantastic views at Lauca National Park.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

BLACK-NECKED SWAN (Cygnus melancoryphus)

Two very dedicated parents had several chicks even on dad's back, it was wonderful to see them at Puerto Natales.

COSCOROBA SWAN (Coscoroba coscoroba)

ANDEAN GOOSE (Oressochen melanopterus)

UPLAND GOOSE (Chloephaga picta)

ASHY-HEADED GOOSE (Chloephaga poliocephala)

We saw very few of them, but fantastic ones at Rio Serrano.

RUDDY-HEADED GOOSE (Chloephaga rubidiceps)

We had to do a trip to the most southern part to see this rare bird, and we were lucky when we found a pair.

FLYING STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres patachonicus)

FLIGHTLESS STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres pteneres)

It was fantastic to see a male flapping its wings.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Rufous-legged Owl was very cooperative at Chillan. Photo by participant Rich Spisak.

CRESTED DUCK (Lophonetta specularioides)

The most common duck along the trip.

SPECTACLED DUCK (Speculanas specularis)

A handsome and local duck of the southern Andes that we saw at Torres del Paine.

SILVER TEAL (Spatula versicolor)

PUNA TEAL (Spatula puna)

CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)

RED SHOVELER (Spatula platalea)

CHILOE WIGEON (Mareca sibilatrix)



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

The most widespread of the two subspecies that we saw in the south and central Chile; this is the darker form.

YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (OXYPTERA) (Anas flavirostris oxyptera)

The subspecies that we saw in the north, with pale belly.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Participant Eileen Keelan got this wonderful image of a Pied-billed Grebe feeding its chick. This was one of five grebe species that we saw.

BLACK-HEADED DUCK (Heteronetta atricapilla)

Great looks of several males at El Peral lagoon.

ANDEAN DUCK (Oxyura ferruginea)

We had good views of them at Torres del Paine but they were more common at Lauca; this is the largest of the two stiff tails in Chile.

LAKE DUCK (Oxyura vittata)

The smaller of the stiff-tails that is found in the lowlands, we had a great look at them at Posada del Parque and El Peral.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

CALIFORNIA QUAIL (Callipepla californica) [I]

Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)

CHILEAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus chilensis)

Several sites in the south but also in the north, the most numerous of the 3 species.

ANDEAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicoparrus andinus)

The biggest of the 3 species that we saw at Lauca.

JAMES'S FLAMINGO (Phoenicoparrus jamesi)

We saw very few of them but we clearly saw their red legs.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

WHITE-TUFTED GREBE (Rollandia rolland)

PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)

GREAT GREBE (Podiceps major)

SILVERY GREBE (ANDEAN) (Podiceps occipitalis juninensis)

Nice big population of this subspecies at Lauca.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetails live up to their name; they are rather plain, but they are still attractive, and we had nice looks at them. Photo by participant Rich Spisak.

SILVERY GREBE (PATAGONIAN) (Podiceps occipitalis occipitalis)

Seen twice but nice views even of their golden cheeks which is a characteristic in this subspecies.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

SPOT-WINGED PIGEON (ALBIPENNIS) (Patagioenas maculosa albipennis)

CHILEAN PIGEON (Patagioenas araucana)

Great views of this bird that looks like a Band-tailed Pigeon that has been marinated in red wine. Nice views near Puerto Montt.

PICUI GROUND DOVE (Columbina picui)

CROAKING GROUND DOVE (Columbina cruziana)

BARE-FACED GROUND DOVE (Metriopelia ceciliae)

Handsome small dove from the high Andes that we saw in Putre.

BLACK-WINGED GROUND DOVE (Metriopelia melanoptera)

WEST PERUVIAN DOVE (Zenaida meloda)

EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris)

We saw some birds of this species in their most southerly range.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had some great views of Andean Condors, including this perched individual photographed by participant Don Burlett.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

BAND-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Systellura longirostris) [*]

TSCHUDI'S NIGHTJAR (Systellura decussata)

Few people adventured a very uneven walk at dark to see this nice Nightjar, but it was a success.

Apodidae (Swifts)

CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica)

A rare sighting for Chile, but we saw some of them along the Lluta valley.

ANDEAN SWIFT (Aeronautes andecolus)

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

GREEN-BACKED FIRECROWN (Sephanoides sephaniodes)

The most southern hummingbird that we saw on the trip; some males showed us why they are called Firecrown.

ANDEAN HILLSTAR (Oreotrochilus estella)

WHITE-SIDED HILLSTAR (Oreotrochilus leucopleurus)

GIANT HUMMINGBIRD (Patagona gigas peruviana)

This is the one that we saw in Putre.

GIANT HUMMINGBIRD (Patagona gigas gigas)

Great looks at a perch bird that we saw in Algarrobo, feeding on a cactus flower.

PERUVIAN SHEARTAIL (Thaumastura cora)

The males of this species were stunning with long tails.

OASIS HUMMINGBIRD (Rhodopis vesper)

Field Guides Birding Tours
At Puerto Natales, we were treated to this view of an adult Black-necked Swan with two fluffy young riding on its back. Photo by guide Willy Perez.

CHILEAN WOODSTAR (Eulidia yarrellii)

It was a hard work to find them until we got to the correct place; we saw a couple of females nesting, but some people saw a male too.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

AUSTRAL RAIL (Rallus antarcticus)

For me, it was the bird of the trip, and now we are in a very special group of the few people who have seen this species!

PLUMBEOUS RAIL (Pardirallus sanguinolentus)

It was a great surprise to see this bird in Santiago city.

SPOT-FLANKED GALLINULE (Porphyriops melanops)

COMMON GALLINULE (AMERICAN) (Gallinula galeata pauxilla)

RED-FRONTED COOT (Fulica rufifrons)

This small coot appears to be more like a Gallinule than a Coot. We saw our first one in Concepcion.

GIANT COOT (Fulica gigantea)

This monster Coot was very common at Chungara lake in the north.

RED-GARTERED COOT (Fulica armillata)

The most common Coot of the trip.

SLATE-COLORED COOT (Fulica ardesiaca)

The Chungara lake was a popular place for this species.

WHITE-WINGED COOT (Fulica leucoptera)

Pluvianellidae (Magellanic Plover)

MAGELLANIC PLOVER (Pluvianellus socialis)

Laguna Verde is the best place to see this unique Plover in Chile, and again it didn't disappoint us when we found a nice pair of them.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Tapaculos are a big draw for birders, and we were not disappointed by our view of this Chestnut-throated Huet-huet at Chillan. Photo by participant Rich Spisak.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)

PERUVIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus superciliaris)

Several of these sleepy looking birds were seen near Arica our first morning on the desert.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

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

ANDEAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra andina)

Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)

AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)


We encountered a few of these large bulky Oystercatchers along the coastline in Central Chile.

MAGELLANIC OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus leucopodus)

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) [b]

TAWNY-THROATED DOTTEREL (Oreopholus ruficollis)

Great views of this distinctive Plover along the Patagonian steppe.

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

Noisy and very common south of the Atacama desert, we saw plenty of them.

ANDEAN LAPWING (Vanellus resplendens)

COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris)

Field Guides Birding Tours
The Lesser Horned Owl is now a full species, and we had a great time seeing this one at Farellones. Participant Eileen Keelan got this portrait of a bird seeming a little perturbed at our interest.

PUNA PLOVER (Charadrius alticola)

TWO-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius falklandicus)

The best views of this species were at the King Penguin colony where there was one on a nest.

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) [b]

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

RUFOUS-CHESTED DOTTEREL (Charadrius modestus)

Thinocoridae (Seedsnipes)


We had scope views of these very unusual birds of the high Andes.

GRAY-BREASTED SEEDSNIPE (Thinocorus orbignyianus)

LEAST SEEDSNIPE (Thinocorus rumicivorus)

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (HUDSONIAN) (Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus) [b]

HUDSONIAN GODWIT (Limosa haemastica) [b]

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) [b]

Field Guides Birding Tours
Our pelagic trip out of Valpairaiso was successful; participant Rich Spisak got this shot of the group as we sailed.

SURFBIRD (Calidris virgata) [b]

SANDERLING (Calidris alba) [b]

BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii) [b]

WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (Calidris fuscicollis) [b]

SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) [b]

MAGELLANIC SNIPE (Gallinago magellanica)

Several good looks especially in the south.

WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) [b]

RED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus fulicarius) [b]

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) [b]

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) [b]

WILLET (Tringa semipalmata) [b]

Field Guides Birding Tours
The Inca Tern is one of the loveliest seabirds, and participant Don Burlett's photo shows its beauty nicely.

LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) [b]

Stercorariidae (Skuas and Jaegers)

CHILEAN SKUA (Stercorarius chilensis)

Few seen, especially during our boat trips.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

ANDEAN GULL (Chroicocephalus serranus)

BROWN-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus maculipennis)

DOLPHIN GULL (Leucophaeus scoresbii)

This very attractive Gull was seen nicely in Punta Arenas.

GRAY GULL (Leucophaeus modestus)

FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan) [b]

BELCHER'S GULL (Larus belcheri)

KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus)

GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) [b]

A rare bird for Chile that we saw at the Lluta river mouth.

INCA TERN (Larosterna inca)

The grounds of our hotel in Vina was the best place to see this incredible bird.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Long-tailed Meadowlarks were common in the desert. Photo by participant Eileen Keelan.

COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) [b]

SOUTH AMERICAN TERN (Sterna hirundinacea)

ELEGANT TERN (Thalasseus elegans) [b]

BLACK SKIMMER (CINERASCENS) (Rynchops niger cinerascens)

It was stunning to see this strange looking bird at the Maipo estuary.

Spheniscidae (Penguins)

KING PENGUIN (Aptenodytes patagonicus)

The Bahia Inutil colony is still doing ok, so it was a delight to see this spectacular bird.

HUMBOLDT PENGUIN (Spheniscus humboldti)

MAGELLANIC PENGUIN (Spheniscus magellanicus)

We saw this species a couple of times when we crossed to Tierra del Fuego.

Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)

BULLER'S ALBATROSS (Thalassarche bulleri)

This is the stunning Albatross that we saw where the adults had a bicolored yellow and black bills.

SALVIN'S ALBATROSS (Thalassarche salvini)

BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche melanophris)

Oceanitidae (Southern Storm-Petrels)

WILSON'S STORM-PETREL (FUEGIAN) (Oceanites oceanicus chilensis)

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Austral Parakeet posed nicely for participant Don Burlett.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)

SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL (Macronectes giganteus)

We saw them on two consecutive days when we were crossing the Straits of Magellan.

NORTHERN GIANT-PETREL (Macronectes halli)

We had good looks of at least a pair during our pelagic trip in Valparaiso.

SOUTHERN FULMAR (Fulmarus glacialoides)

WHITE-CHINNED PETREL (Procellaria aequinoctialis)

WESTLAND PETREL (Procellaria westlandica)

PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER (Ardenna creatopus)

SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea)

A very common species that we saw especially in Valparaiso.

PERUVIAN DIVING-PETREL (Pelecanoides garnotii)

MAGELLANIC DIVING-PETREL (Pelecanoides magellani)

Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)

PERUVIAN BOOBY (Sula variegata)

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

RED-LEGGED CORMORANT (Poikilocarbo gaimardi)

Very attractive Cormorant that is another Humboldt current specialist.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had some good views of the Magellanic Snipe. They blend in so well to their habitat, don't they? Photo by participant Rich Spisak.

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

MAGELLANIC CORMORANT (Leucocarbo magellanicus)

GUANAY CORMORANT (Leucocarbo bougainvillii)

IMPERIAL CORMORANT (Leucocarbo atriceps atriceps)

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

PERUVIAN PELICAN (Pelecanus thagus)

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

STRIPE-BACKED BITTERN (Ixobrychus involucris)

We had to work hard for this scarce bird in Chile, but our efforts payed off especially in Algarrobo where everyone saw them well.

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) [b]

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another tapaculo we saw was the Moustached Turca. This one came out and posed for us with a mouthful of food! Photo by guide Willy Perez.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (AMERICAN) (Nycticorax nycticorax hoactli)

The paler form of the northern birds that we saw.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (DUSKY) (Nycticorax nycticorax obscurus)

The birds that we saw in Central Chile, which is the dark form of the two subspecies.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

PUNA IBIS (Plegadis ridgwayi)

BLACK-FACED IBIS (Theristicus melanopis)

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

ANDEAN CONDOR (Vultur gryphus)

I have to say that this trip had more Condors than ever and they behaved incredibly well for stunning views.

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

CINEREOUS HARRIER (Circus cinereus)

HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus)

VARIABLE HAWK (Geranoaetus polyosoma)

BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus)

This graceful big raptor was seen in several locations.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We saw these beautiful Spectacled Ducks in Torres del Paine. Photo by participant Rich Spisak.

WHITE-THROATED HAWK (Buteo albigula)

Strigidae (Owls)

LESSER HORNED OWL (Bubo magellanicus)

It was incredible to see one sitting on a lamppost at Farellones.

AUSTRAL PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium nana)

PERUVIAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium peruanum)

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

RUFOUS-LEGGED OWL (Strix rufipes)

Stunning sights of these magnificent owls at Chillan.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

STRIPED WOODPECKER (Dryobates lignarius)

MAGELLANIC WOODPECKER (Campephilus magellanicus)

The bird of the trip for many people and it was a relief for Lalo and me when we found a group of these spectacular birds.

CHILEAN FLICKER (Colaptes pitius)

ANDEAN FLICKER (Colaptes rupicola)

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

CRESTED CARACARA (SOUTHERN) (Caracara plancus plancus)

Field Guides Birding Tours
We also had some great views of the Tawny-throated Dotterel. Photo by guide Willy Perez.

CHIMANGO CARACARA (Daptrius chimango)

MOUNTAIN CARACARA (Daptrius megalopterus)

The best ones were at Valle Nevado, what a sight.

WHITE-THROATED CARACARA (Daptrius albogularis)

A juvenile was seen briefly at Sierra Baguales.

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)

We saw them a couple of times, but the nice one was the one in Punta Arenas, a Pallid form of the cassini subspecies with a very pale colors overall.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

MOUNTAIN PARAKEET (Psilopsiagon aurifrons)

MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) [I]

AUSTRAL PARAKEET (Enicognathus ferrugineus)

SLENDER-BILLED PARAKEET (Enicognathus leptorhynchus) [E]

It was fantastic to see some birds perched, and to study their beaks. We could definitely see why they are called slender-billed.

Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)

CHESTNUT-THROATED HUET-HUET (Pteroptochos castaneus)

We had a great encounter with this bird at Chillan.

BLACK-THROATED HUET-HUET (Pteroptochos tarnii)

Our first attempt was wonderful at Puerto Montt but also at Cerro Nielol we had a nice show, with two birds on the edge of the road looking for food.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Chilean Flamingos were the most numerous of the three species of flamingos that we saw. Participant Eileen Keelen got this lovely shot of two of them.

MOUSTACHED TURCA (Pteroptochos megapodius) [E]

We all loved this big Tapaculo that normally comes to the open for food or to sing, and that is exactly what we saw. WHAT A BIRD!

WHITE-THROATED TAPACULO (Scelorchilus albicollis) [E]

CHUCAO TAPACULO (Scelorchilus rubecula)

The smartest of the tapaculos for sure, and we had great looks of them at Chillan.

OCHRE-FLANKED TAPACULO (Eugralla paradoxa)

DUSKY TAPACULO (Scytalopus fuscus) [E]

Not as flashy as the Chucao, but showed nicely several times at Posada del Parque in central Chile.

MAGELLANIC TAPACULO (Scytalopus magellanicus)

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

COMMON MINER (PATAGONIAN) (Geositta cunicularia cunicularia)

PUNA MINER (Geositta punensis)

RUFOUS-BANDED MINER (Geositta rufipennis fasciata)

CREAMY-RUMPED MINER (Geositta isabellina)

This highland Andean breeder is hard to see outside of Chile, and even in Chile, but we were lucky to see a pair when we visit El Yeso.

WHITE-THROATED TREERUNNER (Pygarrhichas albogularis)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Chungara Lake was home to many Giant Coots. Participant Rich Spisak got this shot of one walking on the beach; just look at those feet!

BAND-TAILED EARTHCREEPER (Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus)

CRAG CHILIA (Ochetorhynchus melanurus) [E]

One of the special endemics of Central Chile that we saw on our way to El Yeso.

WREN-LIKE RUSHBIRD (Phleocryptes melanops) [*]


Split from Scale-throated several years ago; seems to be very reliable at Chillan.



BUFF-BREASTED EARTHCREEPER (Upucerthia validirostris)

BUFF-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes fuscus)

CREAM-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes albiventris albiventris)

GRAY-FLANKED CINCLODES (Cinclodes oustaleti)

WHITE-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes atacamensis)

A hight altitude Cinclodes that likes water and we saw some at the Lauca National Park.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Thick-billed Siskin was seen nicely at El Yeso. Photo by participant Rich Spisak.

DARK-BELLIED CINCLODES (Cinclodes patagonicus)

SEASIDE CINCLODES (Cinclodes nigrofumosus) [E]

This a great bird in terms of habitat; it doesn't go to any feeder that's 100 meters away from the coast, but has a range of 1000km along the Chilean coastline.

THORN-TAILED RAYADITO (Aphrastura spinicauda)

DES MURS'S WIRETAIL (Sylviorthorhynchus desmursii)

We loved watching this tiny bamboo specialty for few times.

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

Possibly the most colorful of the subspecies that we saw in central Chile.

PLAIN-MANTLED TIT-SPINETAIL (PALLIDA) (Leptasthenura aegithaloides pallida)

Great looks of these less colorful subspecies at Tierra del Fuego.

STREAKED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura striata)

CREAMY-BREASTED CANASTERO (DARK-WINGED) (Asthenes dorbignyi arequipae)

AUSTRAL CANASTERO (Asthenes anthoides)


SHARP-BILLED CANASTERO (Asthenes pyrrholeuca)

Field Guides Birding Tours
King Penguins were some of the favorite birds of the trip! This trio sat nicely for a portrait by participant Eileen Keelan.

CANYON CANASTERO (Asthenes pudibunda)

DUSKY-TAILED CANASTERO (Pseudasthenes humicola) [E]

Superb views of this endemic at Algarrobo.

Cotingidae (Cotingas)


Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

MANY-COLORED RUSH TYRANT (Tachuris rubrigastra)

PIED-CRESTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes reguloides)

This very attractive Flycatcher was seen at Camarones.

YELLOW-BILLED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes flavirostris)

TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus)

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

This isn the widespread subspecies that we saw.

WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (PERUVIAN) (Elaenia albiceps modesta)

Common along the oasis in the north.

RUFESCENT FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus rufescens)

VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)

Field Guides Birding Tours
A major highlight of the trip was seeing this Puma on the hillside at Torres del Paine! Photo by participant Rich Spisak.

AUSTRAL NEGRITO (Lessonia rufa)

ANDEAN NEGRITO (Lessonia oreas)

SPECTACLED TYRANT (Hymenops perspicillatus)

SPOT-BILLED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola maculirostris)

The smallest of the Ground Tyrants that we saw and we had great looks of them especially at El Yeso.

PUNA GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola juninensis)

The most common of the group at Lauca.

WHITE-FRONTED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola albifrons)

The largest Ground Tyrant that we saw at Lauca.

OCHRE-NAPED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola flavinucha)

WHITE-BROWED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola albilora)

The most common of this group.

CINNAMON-BELLIED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola capistratus)

BLACK-FRONTED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola frontalis)

FIRE-EYED DIUCON (Pyrope pyrope)

Field Guides Birding Tours
The Chucao Tapaculo is one of the most colorful, and we saw it well at Chillan. Photo by participant Rich Spisak.

CHOCOLATE-VENTED TYRANT (Neoxolmis rufiventris)


GREAT SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis lividus)

PATAGONIAN TYRANT (Colorhamphus parvirostris)

D'ORBIGNY'S CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca oenanthoides)

It was the nice Flycatcher that we saw when we were having lunch at Chungara lake.

WHITE-BROWED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca leucophrys)

EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) [b]

It was a big surprise for us; a rare bird in Chile.


Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) [b]

Another nice surprise for Chile was to see this migratory bird along the Lluta valley.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (PERUVIANA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca peruviana)

Several seen at the north along the oasis valleys.

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

Very common along the trip south of Santiago.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Crag Chilia is an endemic of central Chile that we saw on our way to El Yeso. Guide Willy Perez got this image of one posing on a rock.

ANDEAN SWALLOW (Orochelidon andecola)

SOUTHERN MARTIN (Progne elegans)

This species surprised us because we haven't seen it there before, and there are very few records in Chile. At the beginning, we counted this species as Peruvian Martin which is the most likely species to be seen along the Lluta valley, but luckily Lalo got a photo of them and when I checked the photo it was clear that it was a Southern Martin.

CHILEAN SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucopyga)

BARN SWALLOW (AMERICAN) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) [b]

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon tecellatus)

We saw this one in the north.

HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon chilensis)

The most common one of the two subspecies that we saw south of the desert.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)


Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

AUSTRAL THRUSH (Turdus falcklandii)

CHIGUANCO THRUSH (CHIGUANCO/CONRADI) (Turdus chiguanco chiguanco)

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

CORRENDERA PIPIT (Anthus correndera)

Field Guides Birding Tours
This pretty Thin Tree Lizard was one of the non-avian creatures that we got a good look at. Photo by participant Eileen Keelan.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

THICK-BILLED SISKIN (Spinus crassirostris)

This poorly known species was seen during our visit to El Yeso.

HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus bolivianus)

BLACK SISKIN (Spinus atratus)

YELLOW-RUMPED SISKIN (Spinus uropygialis)

BLACK-CHINNED SISKIN (Spinus barbatus)

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

PERUVIAN MEADOWLARK (Leistes bellicosus)

Another oasis valley specialty that we saw along the Lluta valley in the north.


Known as Loica in Chile, this was a common bird south of the desert all the way down to the Patagonia and we never got tired of watching them.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

AUSTRAL BLACKBIRD (Curaeus curaeus)

YELLOW-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus thilius)

Field Guides Birding Tours
This cute Bolivian Pericote was another non-avian animal that we saw well. Photo by participant Rich Spisak.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (GREEN-MANTLED) (Rauenia bonariensis darwinii)

TAMARUGO CONEBILL (Conirostrum tamarugense)

This Conebill depends on mature Tamarugo trees where they live together, and the destruction of the trees are leading to a decline in population of the birds, which make more difficult to find them, but luckily we saw one nicely.

CINEREOUS CONEBILL (Conirostrum cinereum)

BLACK-THROATED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa brunneiventris)

BLACK-HOODED SIERRA FINCH (Phrygilus atriceps)

The colorful males were sharing lunch with us at Lauca.


PATAGONIAN SIERRA FINCH (Phrygilus patagonicus)

The males of this species have very orange back in comparison to the previous one which is most green.

DIUCA FINCH (Diuca diuca)

WHITE-BRIDLED FINCH (Melanodera melanodera)

This stunning bird of the Patagonian steppe was seen several times during our drive along The Pampa Larga road.

GLACIER FINCH (Idiopsar speculifer)

PLUMBEOUS SIERRA FINCH (Geospizopsis unicolor)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Here is our group in the forest, posing in front of some massive tree-roots. Photo by guide Willy Perez.

ASH-BREASTED SIERRA FINCH (Geospizopsis plebejus)

SLENDER-BILLED FINCH (Xenospingus concolor)

This bird is specialty along the oasis in the Atacama desert.

MOURNING SIERRA FINCH (Rhopospina fruticeti)

BAND-TAILED SIERRA FINCH (Rhopospina alaudina)

GREATER YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis auriventris)

GREENISH YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis olivascens)


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

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)


BAND-TAILED SEEDEATER (Catamenia analis)

Field Guides Birding Tours
We traveled through some spectacular landscape, as this image of Torres del Paine shows. Photo by participant Eileen Keelan.


OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus) [I]

EUROPEAN BROWN HARE (Lepus europaeus) [I]

BOLIVIAN PERICOTE (BIG-EARED MOUSE) (Auliscomys boliviensis)

They were very cute animals to see.

MUSKRAT (Ondatra zibethica) [I]


NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus)

DUSKY DOLPHIN (Lagenorhynchus obscurus)

Brian spotted some of them from the hotel during our breakfast in Arica.

COMMERSON'S DOLPHIN (Cephalorhynchus commersonii)

Stunning small Dolphins that we saw on our way back from Tierra del Fuego.

SOUTHERN GRAY FOX (Pseudalopex griseus)

CULPEO FOX (Lycalopex culpaeus)

COUGAR (MOUNTAIN LION) (Puma concolor)

For many people, this was the highlight of the trip and of course for a big reason. It was amazing to see one sitting on a hillside at Torres del Paine.

SOUTHERN SEA LION (Otaria byronia)

Several ones seen at the coast and also along the pelagic, even one was along the Maipo estuary, we were not very sure what happened with that Sea Lion.

GUANACO (Lama guanicoe)

We saw plenty of them specially at Torres del Paine.

LLAMA (Lama glama)

ALPACA (Lama pacos)

VICUNA (Vicugna vicugna)

They were quite common along the Altiplano in the north.


Other wildlife that we saw:

Thin Tree Lizard: Liolaemus tenuis

Blackish-green Lizard: Liolaemus nigroviridis

Leopard Lizard: Liolaemus leopardinus

Sun Star: Heliaster helianthus

We also saw some beetles:

What the locals called La Vaquita: is from the genus Gyriosomus but there are several species in Chile.

Totals for the tour: 287 bird taxa and 16 mammal taxa