Field Guides
Home Tours Guides News About Us FAQ Contact Us
Field Guides Tour Report
Northwestern Argentina 2012
Oct 17, 2012 to Nov 4, 2012
Dave Stejskal & Willy Perez

One of the stars of the tour: a Diademed Sandpiper-Plover in the bofedal below Abra de Lizoite at about 13,800' on the last full day of birding on the tour! (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

We pulled off yet another fabulous tour to beautiful and birdy Northwestern Argentina this year! The weather was very cooperative this year, with only a bit of rain in Cordoba and in the yungas forests of Jujuy, which didn't slow us down at all. If anything, it was a little too dry again this year, conforming to a longer trend that I've noted in the past ten years or so there. Despite the overall dryness, Laguna de Pozuelos had, rather surprisingly, more water in it than I've seen for many years! That change renewed my hope for many of the high elevation waterbirds breeding there this year.

This tour is typically chock full of highlights, since we typically get just about every single specialty bird possible. We had a few 'dips' this year, like every year, but highlights were plentiful again. Cordoba gave up its special birds rather predictably, but we still enjoyed our looks at the 2 endemic cinclodes there, the scarce Salinas Monjita, Spot-winged Falconet, and that surprise Black-legged Seriema on our drive back to the main highway! Tucuman provided great encounters with Rufous-throated Dipper and Slender-tailed Woodstar, and a quartet of endemics: Yellow-striped Brush-Finch, White-browed Tapaculo, Bare-eyed Ground-Dove, and Tucuman Mountain-Finch. The dry inter-Andean valley between the Sierra de Aconquija in Tucuman and the tourist town of Cafayate in s. Salta gave us a few to remember as well, with great encounters with endemic White-throated Cacholote and Sandy Gallito, the surprise Black-crowned Monjita (an endemic breeder), a wary Elegant Crested-Tinamou, and not-so-great views of the local Steinbach's Canastero. The scenery along the drive on that day was arguably the best that we ever saw on this tour loaded with great scenery! The Quebrada de Cafayate is one of those scenic wonders of the world that almost no one knows about (unless you're an Argentinian).

Salta was again very productive for us, mostly due to the wealth of habitats that we visited there. The Cuesta del Obispo day yielded a number of specialties, with Maquis Canastero, Zimmer's Tapaculo, Rufous-bellied Saltator, and Rock Earthcreeper being the stars. The rapidly vanishing Chaco woodland near J.V. Gonzales still came through for us with a number of specialties like Stripe-backed Antbird, the distinctive hellmayri race of Red-billed Scythebill, numerous Comb Ducks and fancy Ringed Teal, and not one, but TWO sightings of Jaguarundi! The moister habitats of the yungas forests gave us fine memories of Giant Antshrike, Cream-backed and Dot-fronted woodpeckers, and the stately Red-legged Seriema, among other prizes.

Jujuy was a wonderful climax to this tour with its rich yungas forests along the Rio Yala, the spectacular array of high elevation waterbirds in the Laguna de Pozuelos area, and the productive valleys and passes east of La Quiaca. Highlights during our final four days in this birdy province included nesting Horned and Giant coots, scarce Red-faced Guans, spectacular Lyre-tailed Nightjars, dapper Red-backed Sierra-Finches, a surprising two Wedge-tailed Hillstars, a very confiding Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, more flamingoes (of three species) than I've seen in many years, and flocks of local Citron-headed Yellow-Finches.

Thanks to each one of you for being such wonderful travel companions on this tour to beautiful Northwestern Argentina. Willy and I really enjoyed guiding you around the country and showing you so many great birds, and we hope we can do it again somewhere else down the road! Cheers!

-- Dave

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)
GREATER RHEA (Rhea americana) – I guess the one thing that the clearing of the Chaco does in our favor is that it makes this big ratite much more visible.
LESSER RHEA (PUNA) (Rhea pennata tarapacensis) – We encountered this one a few times up in the Pozuelos basin, which is a little heartening. I've had a tough time tracking it down on recent tours up there.
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
TATAUPA TINAMOU (Crypturellus tataupa) [*]
HUAYCO TINAMOU (Rhynchotus maculicollis) [*]
ORNATE TINAMOU (Nothoprocta ornata) – We had a couple of really excellent looks at this high elevation species.
BRUSHLAND TINAMOU (Nothoprocta cinerascens) – The lowland representative of the genus in Argentina, but it does overlap a little with the Andean Tinamou in the Cordoba foothills.
ANDEAN TINAMOU (Nothoprocta pentlandii) – We had a pretty darned good look at this one as it ran down the slope and then flew across the arroyo above Tafi.
DARWIN'S NOTHURA (Nothura darwinii) [*]
SPOTTED NOTHURA (Nothura maculosa) – I should just bring some corn with me on this tour from now on and throw it in the road if we can get the looks like we did this year in Salta!
ELEGANT CRESTED-TINAMOU (Eudromia elegans) – That solitary bird on the roadside behaved very well for us on our drive north to Cafayate from Tafi.
QUEBRACHO CRESTED-TINAMOU (Eudromia formosa) – Rather unsatisfying views of a distant bird in the road near J.V. Gonzalez. Good to know they're still around, though.
Anhimidae (Screamers)

This showy male Ringed Teal was one of about 30 of these delightful ducks we saw so well in the Chaco. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata) – That one spot on the way to J.V. Gonzalez from Salta has been very reliable for this one for many years.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor)
COSCOROBA SWAN (Coscoroba coscoroba) – The lake below Tafi is the highest that I've ever encountered this species, but it seems to be regular at this site.
COMB DUCK (Sarkidiornis melanotos) – We had a few encounters with this strange species in the hot lowlands. This S. American race, sylvicola, is split by some authors from the Old World melanotos as a separate species.
ANDEAN GOOSE (Chloephaga melanoptera) – Very common in the Pozuelos basin near water. The size difference between the genders was very evident on our trek to see the Horned Coot. [N]
CRESTED DUCK (Lophonetta specularioides) – At the highest elevations only on this tour.
RINGED TEAL (Callonetta leucophrys) – We did much better with this one than on prior tours with about 30 individuals in all seen in the Chaco. It was also the first time that I've ever heard this one vocalize!
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)
TORRENT DUCK (Merganetta armata) – Our high count for the day along the Rio Los Sosa was twelve birds, including the young accompanying the few pairs that we saw.
CINNAMON TEAL (Anas cyanoptera)
RED SHOVELER (Anas platalea) – A couple of lingering pairs in Tucuman and Salta were making their way south. [a]
PUNA TEAL (Anas puna) – The single bird at Dique Las Cienegas was a surprise at that low elevation. [N]
YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (FLAVIROSTRIS) (Anas flavirostris flavirostris)
YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (OXYPTERA) (Anas flavirostris oxyptera) – This distinctive highland race overlaps with the above lowland race in the valley below Tafi. I've never seen a mixed pair there. Hmmm...
ROSY-BILLED POCHARD (Netta peposaca) – Gorgeous!
BLACK-HEADED DUCK (Heteronetta atricapilla) – Just a few this year in Salta. The absence of water at the reserve in Buenos Aires is sure making this one more difficult to pin down on this tour.
RUDDY DUCK (ANDEAN) (Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea) – Often split out as a separate species. [N]
LAKE DUCK (Oxyura vittata) – Often difficult to pick out of the more common Ruddies.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
CHACO CHACHALACA (Ortalis canicollis) – Still seemingly doing okay in the rapidly diminishing Chaco woodland.
RED-FACED GUAN (Penelope dabbenei) – The great crop of wild avocado made this a banner year for this rare and local species in Jujuy. This seems to now be the easiest place in the world to see this threatened bird.
DUSKY-LEGGED GUAN (Penelope obscura) – We had several great views, especially in Jujuy at the end of the tour.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
WHITE-TUFTED GREBE (Rollandia rolland) – Another species that's getting more difficult to find with a dry Costanera Sur Reserve in Buenos Aires.
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
GREAT GREBE (Podiceps major) – The lake in Cordoba is now the most reliable spot for this one on this tour. I suspect that all of these birds were on their way farther south.
SILVERY GREBE (JUNINENSIS) (Podiceps occipitalis juninensis) – Once again this year, we had paired birds of both subspecies at the small lake near Abra Pampa on our way to La Quiaca. If these two subspecies are breeding here side-by-side, that would be very strong evidence of their being candidates for a split.
SILVERY GREBE (OCCIPITALIS) (Podiceps occipitalis occipitalis)
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
CHILEAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus chilensis) – We witnessed the best conditions at Laguna de Pozuelos that I can remember in the last fifteen years and, consequently, we had one of the best showings of all three flamingos that I can remember.

The high water at Laguna de Pozuelos provided the best conditions in years for flamingos, and we had good numbers of all three species. The all-red legs and short, black-tipped, yellow bill mark this as the smallest of the three: James's Flamingo. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

ANDEAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicoparrus andinus)
JAMES'S FLAMINGO (Phoenicoparrus jamesi)
Ciconiidae (Storks)
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari) – A little migrant flock in the Chaco with one of the Ringed Teal flocks was nice to see. [a]
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – A single bird for some folks in Buenos Aires that first afternoon.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Including a few nesting birds in the hills above Dique Las Cienegas in Jujuy. [N]
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Marianne spotted this local rarity at Dique Las Cienegas. It probably occurs annually in Argentina, but it was my first ever for the country.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)
PUNA IBIS (Plegadis ridgwayi) – Rather easy this year near Abra Pampa at the end of the tour. This is the southern extreme of the range for this one.
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – A small migrant flock on our way to the Chaco. [a]
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus)
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – This was the second year in a row that we've seen this bird at the salinas, so I suspect that they are regular here.
ANDEAN CONDOR (Vultur gryphus) – We enjoyed scattered sighting of this leviathan from the mountains of Cordoba north to the Bolivian border.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – A couple of different adults were nice to see.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) – There seemed to be fewer of these this year than we normally see.
CINEREOUS HARRIER (Circus cinereus) – The Pozuelos basin was the place for this bird this year.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (RUFOUS-THIGHED) (Accipiter striatus erythronemius) – Formerly split off as a separate species, the Rufous-thighed Hawk.
GREAT BLACK-HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – That imm. bird at J.V. Gonzalez had us scratching our heads for a bit. It's a plumage that I don't see much at all anywhere.

A Jaguarundi slinks across a track in the Chaco. This was one of two of these elusive cats that we saw this trip! (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)
ROADSIDE HAWK (Buteo magnirostris) – The new Clements Checklist has removed this species from the genus Buteo and placed it in its own genus Rupornis.
VARIABLE HAWK (Buteo polyosoma) – Several of the birds (maybe all?) that we saw above 12,000' in n. Jujuy near the Bolivian border were probably what we once called Puna Hawk.
VARIABLE HAWK (VARIABLE) (Buteo polyosoma polyosoma) – All of the birds that we marked on this line (mostly at lower elevations) were what we one called Red-backed Hawk. Note that the new Clements Checklist puts this bird (along with White-tailed Hawk) in the genus Geranoaetus with the Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
MOUNTAIN CARACARA (Phalcoboenus megalopterus) – Not until the final leg of the trip did we run into this one at very high elevations.
SOUTHERN CARACARA (Caracara plancus) – A fairly recent split from Crested Caracara.
CHIMANGO CARACARA (Milvago chimango)
SPOT-WINGED FALCONET (Spiziapteryx circumcincta) – This one is always a bit of a pain to find for the group, so I was thrilled when I heard it calling on our first full morning of the tour! We ended up with very good looks in the light rain.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – It was most common in the Chaco region of Salta this year, but we did see several quite high in the Pozuelos basin as well.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Cariamidae (Seriemas)
RED-LEGGED SERIEMA (Cariama cristata) – Willy spotted a pair of these walking through the tall weeds right next to the road on our first full day in Cordoba. That was the first time I've ever seen the bird in Cordoba on this tour! We supplemented our experience with this one early one morning on the hills near the start of the Abra Santa Laura (Camino de Corniza) road.
BLACK-LEGGED SERIEMA (Chunga burmeisteri) – Our bird near the Salinas Grandes proved to be another Cordoba 'first' for me. We all had nice views of a responsive bird crossing the road in front of our bus as we left the area, Salinas Monjita in hand. To be done with the two seriemas on this tour by the end of Day 4 is nothing short of miraculous!
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GIANT WOOD-RAIL (Aramides ypecaha) [*]
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajanea)
PLUMBEOUS RAIL (Pardirallus sanguinolentus) – Most saw one of these run across the highway briefly in the Quebrada de Humahuaca on our last full day.
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
RED-GARTERED COOT (Fulica armillata) – Our 2nd-most common species of coot this year. [N]
RED-FRONTED COOT (Fulica rufifrons) – A few in Salta were all that we could find this year. With water in the basins at the Costanera Sur Reserve in B.A., this one is typically easy there.
GIANT COOT (Fulica gigantea) – Fantastic views at a couple of different sites in Jujuy. Several pairs were actively nesting or had half-grown young. [N]
HORNED COOT (Fulica cornuta) – Even though the conditions appeared to be ideal for this one, there sure weren't many to be found - but find them we did! [N]
SLATE-COLORED COOT (Fulica ardesiaca) – This was the most common coot of the highlands. The single bird at the lake in Salta was a lowland vagrant there. [N]
WHITE-WINGED COOT (Fulica leucoptera) – Our most widespread coot species.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) [N]
ANDEAN LAPWING (Vanellus resplendens) – We saw good numbers up high in Jujuy, like we should have, but the bird that Willy spotted at the lake on the Salta side of the Camino de Corniza was my first lowland vagrant on this tour.
PUNA PLOVER (Charadrius alticola) – No sign of this one until we got to the water's edge at Laguna de Pozuelos.
DIADEMED SANDPIPER-PLOVER (Phegornis mitchellii) – WOWWW!!! Russ spotted this stunner in the middle of the bofedal below the Abra de Lizoite pass, and it stuck around for all to see well! This was only the second time ever that I've managed to see this one, in the same spot, on the tour.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (WHITE-BACKED) (Himantopus mexicanus melanurus)

The local Tucuman Parrot is endemic to the southern Yungas region of Argentina and Bolivia, where it is threatened by habitat loss and capture for the cage bird trade. It's estimated that only about 10,000 remain in the wild, and we were fortunate to get such amazing views. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

ANDEAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra andina) – Laguna de Pozuelos was again the place to see this striking species. Very short-legged for an avocet, no?
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) [b]
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) [b]
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) [b]
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii) [b]
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) – 1000's on the water at Laguna de Pozuelos. [b]
Thinocoridae (Seedsnipes)
GRAY-BREASTED SEEDSNIPE (Thinocorus orbignyianus) – Fantastic looks at this small species next to the road as we descended the other side of the Abra de Lizoite pass.
LEAST SEEDSNIPE (Thinocorus rumicivorus) – Even smaller than the above, we enjoyed good looks of a motionless male next to the road at Pozuelos.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
ANDEAN GULL (Chroicocephalus serranus) – Many of the birds that we saw were at low elevation lakes in Salta and Jujuy.
BROWN-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus maculipennis) – A couple of high flybys on the first afternoon in B.A. for some.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro) – The largest and most common of the native pigeons on this tour.
SPOT-WINGED PIGEON (Patagioenas maculosa) – Cordoba was the best place for this one again this year. [N]
SPOT-WINGED PIGEON (Patagioenas maculosa albipennis) – These were the birds that we saw up at La Quiaca and at Yavi near the end of the trip. This highland race comes very close to the range of the nominate lowland race, but they don't overlap, as far as anyone knows.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata)
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
PICUI GROUND-DOVE (Columbina picui)
BARE-FACED GROUND-DOVE (Metriopelia ceciliae) – Good numbers this year in Yavi. This is about as far south as this one gets.
BARE-EYED GROUND-DOVE (Metriopelia morenoi) [E]
BLACK-WINGED GROUND-DOVE (Metriopelia melanoptera) – This is the most wide-ranging Metriopelia, being found from Tierra del Fuego north to the Colombian Andes.
GOLDEN-SPOTTED GROUND-DOVE (Metriopelia aymara) – This was the first year ever, in my experience, when this one has been at all difficult in the Pozuelos basin. We barely got a look this year!
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
LARGE-TAILED DOVE (Leptotila megalura) – A couple of excellent views of this rather shy yungas forest specialty. Also know as White-faced Dove.
Psittacidae (Parrots)

A charming pair of Gray-hooded Parakeets entertained us on our first day in Cordoba; good thing, too, as for most of us they were the only ones for the trip! (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

NANDAY PARAKEET (Nandayus nenday) – The birds in B.A. are now well established. [I]
BURROWING PARAKEET (Cyanoliseus patagonus andinus) – That one day where we traveled from Tafi north to Col. Moldes was the only day on the tour that recorded this distinctive psittacid.
GREEN-CHEEKED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura molinae) – We had fewer than normal this year, but the forest also seemed drier than usual this year.
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) – Those big stick nests on the power poles in n.w. Cordoba Prov. were pretty impressive! [N]
GRAY-HOODED PARAKEET (Psilopsiagon aymara) – If we hadn't seen that cooperative pair on the first day in Cordoba, I think a lot of folks would have missed this one on the tour. Not at all common anywhere.
MOUNTAIN PARAKEET (Psilopsiagon aurifrons) – Not until we were headed back down the mountain on the last full day did we encounter these tiny, inconspicuous psittacids. Great looks!
BLUE-CROWNED PARAKEET (Aratinga acuticaudata acuticaudata) – These seemed to be more common than in past years in the Chaco.
MITRED PARAKEET (Aratinga mitrata) – Noisy and very conspicuous in the yungas of Salta & Jujuy.
SCALY-HEADED PARROT (Pionus maximiliani) – Ditto for this species.
TUCUMAN PARROT (Amazona tucumana) – YESSSS!!!! Willy and I had hoped that these would stick around for the group after we had spotted them while returning from a couple of errands, and stick around they did! Very conveniently for us, there was a large swath of road that was under construction and closed to traffic, allowing us to get quite close to them as they fed in the fruiting mulberrys.
BLUE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona aestiva) – Most of our looks were pretty distant and unsatisfying. This species has declined dramatically here due to the destruction of habitat and the popularity of this one for the pet trade.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
DARK-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus melacoryphus) – I'm not sure if the birds we saw in Cordoba were going to breed there or were still on the move southward.
GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia)
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba)
MONTANE FOREST SCREECH-OWL (Megascops hoyi) – Darn it! [*]
YUNGAS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium bolivianum) – Our second try for this one proved much more fruitful. This is probably close to the s. limit for this species.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (TUCUMAN) (Glaucidium brasilianum tucumanum) – Hard to come by this year.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)
STYGIAN OWL (Asio stygius) – This was the first one that I've ever detected in the country, but it just wouldn't respond. [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
RUFOUS NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus rufus) – Fantastic looks in the lights!
BAND-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus longirostris) [*]
LITTLE NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus parvulus) – It really made a difference which side of the road we were on this year. Nice views!
LYRE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Uropsalis lyra) – WOWW!!! What a fabulous post-picnic dinner dessert to have this one flying back and forth across the cliff face!
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – A flyby look for some.
Apodidae (Swifts)
ROTHSCHILD'S SWIFT (Cypseloides rothschildi) – I know they weren't much to look at, but that's what they were. No one knows where this bird winters.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)
SICK'S SWIFT (Chaetura meridionalis) – This year, only at El Rey NP. This is what was formerly known as Ashy-tailed Swift ('s complicated...).
ANDEAN SWIFT (Aeronautes andecolus) – Surprisingly few of these in the Andean valleys this year.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
RED-TAILED COMET (Sappho sparganura) – In the running for the most beautiful hummingbird in the world, but there's lots of competition.
ANDEAN HILLSTAR (Oreotrochilus estella) – A very brief encounter with a female for some in the Andes of Salta.
WEDGE-TAILED HILLSTAR (Oreotrochilus adela) – Not a complete surprise, but surprising nonetheless. Pete Burke & I had one of these in almost the same spot two years ago, so it looks like this is indeed 'the spot' to check in the future! Only added to the Argentina list a little more than about a decade ago and previously thought to be a Bolivian endemic.
GIANT HUMMINGBIRD (Patagona gigas) – Always impressive!
BLUE-TUFTED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster furcifer) – We really had a hard time with this one!!
SLENDER-TAILED WOODSTAR (Microstilbon burmeisteri) – We certainly found the right patch of white flowers along the roadside for this one, with most folks seeing both an adult male and a female-plumaged bird. A tough bird any year!
GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon aureoventris) – The common, widespread hummer in the lowlands of this tour.
WHITE-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia chionogaster) – Not a very interesting one, I'm afraid.
GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura) [*]
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLUE-CROWNED TROGON (Trogon curucui) – These birds eventually came in for some good looks at El Rey NP. This trogon occurs farther south than any other in the New World.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

Who doesn't like a big woodpecker? This superb female Cream-backed Woodpecker gave marvelous views at Abra Santa Laura. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
SPOT-BACKED PUFFBIRD (CHACO) (Nystalus maculatus striatipectus) – We had several fine views of this fierce-looking little bird.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
WHITE-BARRED PICULET (Picumnus cirratus) – We saw well birds in both the yungas and in the Chaco.
WHITE-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes cactorum) – Truly a "cactus" woodpecker.
CHECKERED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis mixtus) – These little guys have really taken over the emerging growth at Costanera Sur Reserve in B.A.
DOT-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis frontalis)
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus)
GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (Colaptes melanochloros melanolaimus) – All of our birds, I think, were the larger "Golden-breasted" Woodpecker race of this species. It was once split out as a good species.
ANDEAN FLICKER (Colaptes rupicola)
CAMPO FLICKER (Colaptes campestris campestroides)
CREAM-BACKED WOODPECKER (Campephilus leucopogon) – We really couldn't have asked for a better look at this one! Stunning!
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
COMMON MINER (ALTIPLANO) (Geositta cunicularia titicacae) – It appeared that the Puna Miners had taken over most of the territories formerly occupied by this species along the road to the edge of Laguna de Pozuelos. [N]
SLENDER-BILLED MINER (Geositta tenuirostris) – Our fourth and final miner on the slopes above the bofedal in Jujuy. This one ranges north to Ecuador - farther north than any other miner.
PUNA MINER (Geositta punensis) – Absolutely abundant in the Pozuelos basin this year!
RUFOUS-BANDED MINER (Geositta rufipennis) – Nicely in Cordoba and in the Andes of Tucuman.
ROCK EARTHCREEPER (Ochetorhynchus andaecola) – It took some time, but we all eventually got a great view of this one downslope from the road in Salta.
STRAIGHT-BILLED EARTHCREEPER (Ochetorhynchus ruficaudus) – Northwest Argentina is probably the easiest place to see this bird - and we saw it very well a few times. [N]
SCALE-THROATED EARTHCREEPER (Upucerthia dumetaria) – One singing bird above Tafi was all that we could find this year.
BUFF-BREASTED EARTHCREEPER (Upucerthia validirostris) – We pulled out a pair of these adjacent to the territory occupied by the above species just below the pass above Tafi. Formerly considered to be an Argentine endemic, it's recently been found in far southern Bolivia.
CREAM-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes albiventris tucumanus) – What we once called the Bar-winged Cinclodes on this tour is now split and called Cream-winged. They're amazingly similar to White-winged Cinclodes and you've got to use extreme caution when calling a White-winged on this tour.
CORDOBA CINCLODES (Cinclodes comechingonus) – I know that 'Cordoba' is easier to say than 'Comechingones', but what a great name that old one was! [E]
OLROG'S CINCLODES (Cinclodes olrogi) – We saw this endemic cinclodes very well a few times high in the Cordoba Mts. Similar to the above Cream-winged/White-winged cinclodes i.d. challenge, you've got to take great care when identifying the dark race schocolatinus of White-winged Cinclodes here (itself an endemic subspecies in the mountains here). [E]
WHITE-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes atacamensis) – We only had one of these for sure on the tour, and that was on our last full day at Yavi near the Bolivian border.
RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)
CRESTED HORNERO (Furnarius cristatus) – The smaller nest of this species clued me into the presence of a pair along the road to the salinas in Cordoba.
BROWN-CAPPED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura fuliginiceps) – Typically rather difficult to find on this tour, we had no problem with it this year as we ascended the Cuesta del Obispo road in Salta.
TUFTED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura platensis) – The most widespread of the tit-spinetails in the country.
PLAIN-MANTLED TIT-SPINETAIL (BERLEPSCHI) (Leptasthenura aegithaloides berlepschi) – A couple of tries at the same spot between Jujuy & La Quiaca finally got us the needed results.
SOOTY-FRONTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis frontalis)
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae superciliosa) – The race here was once split out as a separate species, the Buff-browed Spinetail.
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens australis) – This southernmost race sounds different to both myself and to Willy, so there may be something going on with this one.
OCHRE-CHEEKED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis scutata) – Surprisingly easy this year!
SULPHUR-THROATED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca sulphurifera) – A tough little nut to crack on that first afternoon in B.A.
STRIPE-CROWNED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca pyrrhophia) – A really common voice in all of the lowland thorny habitats.
CREAMY-BREASTED CANASTERO (CREAMY-BREASTED) (Asthenes dorbignyi dorbignyi) – We had our best unambiguous looks far to the north in Jujuy.

Despite their size, Giant Antshrikes can be incredibly elusive and hard to see. Apparently this extroverted male and his equally showy mate were nonconformists, luckily for us! (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

SHORT-BILLED CANASTERO (Asthenes baeri) – Restricted to the lowland Chaco and monte habitats.
PUNA CANASTERO (Asthenes sclateri lilloi) – This was the race that we saw so well above Tafi. When this was considered to be a species separate from Cordoba Canastero, the common name was Puno, not Puna, Canastero. It was given that name in honor of the Dept. of Puno in Peru, where it was first collected. The 'Puna' name is a compromise to encompass all of the various races from Peru south to Argentina.
PUNA CANASTERO (Asthenes sclateri sclateri) – This nominate race (the first in the 'Puna' complex to be described) was described as a separate species, the Cordoba Canastero, but was lumped with the other 'races' several years ago.
CORDILLERAN CANASTERO (Asthenes modesta) – A little hard to believe that we waited until Pozuelos to tick this one for the trip.
MAQUIS CANASTERO (Asthenes heterura) – It really took quite a while for this one to respond, but it responded beautifully! A recent addition to the Argentine list and formerly thought to be a Bolivian endemic.
STEINBACH'S CANASTERO (Pseudasthenes steinbachi) – Right where they were supposed to be! Also called Chestnut Canastero. [E]
RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (RUFOUS-FRONTED) (Phacellodomus rufifrons sincipitalis) [N]
LITTLE THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus sibilatrix) – Disappointing this year.
STREAK-FRONTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus striaticeps) – This one always looks amazingly like a canastero, but that bill is just too thick. [N]
SPOT-BREASTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus maculipectus) – Strangely, this one was once lumped with the very different Freckle-breasted from the coastal lowlands. [N]
FRECKLE-BREASTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus striaticollis) – On our first afternoon in B.A. only.
FIREWOOD-GATHERER (Anumbius annumbi) – I think that spot where we found them in Cordoba that first full day is a 'sure thing' from now on! [N]
LARK-LIKE BRUSHRUNNER (Coryphistera alaudina) – One of the most endearing of the furnariids on this trip - if a furnariid can be endearing... [N]
BROWN CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura lophotes) – One of the largest members of the entire family.
WHITE-THROATED CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura gutturalis) – As usual, it took forever for a pair of these to respond, but they gave us great looks before disappearing back into the thornscrub. [E]
CHACO EARTHCREEPER (Tarphonomus certhioides) – It was nice to get this one right off the bat on that first full day in Cordoba.
BUFF-BROWED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla rufosuperciliata)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (AMAZONIAN) (Sittasomus griseicapillus griseicapillus)
SCIMITAR-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Drymornis bridgesii) – Unlike most woodcreepers, this one spends a great deal of its time on the ground, not on the sides of trees.
GREAT RUFOUS WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes major) – Super views of a pair of these monsters at El Rey NP.
NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris)
RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris hellmayri) – Very different from other races of Red-billed Scythebill and a potential future split, I think. Fantastic looks!
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
GIANT ANTSHRIKE (Batara cinerea argentina) – Surely, seeing this pair at such close range was one of the supreme highlights of the tour!
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major)
RUFOUS-CAPPED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus ruficapillus cochabambae) – It took a little work, but we all came away happy.
VARIABLE ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus caerulescens) – Only in the dry, flat Chaco on this tour.
STRIPE-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmorchilus strigilatus) – That first little side road proved best for this one, but seeing it well for everyone wasn't the easiest of tasks.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
CRESTED GALLITO (Rhinocrypta lanceolata) – That bird we all saw in the salinas was particularly cooperative. It reminds much more of some of those big tapaculos in Chile, only more shy.
SANDY GALLITO (Teledromas fuscus) – It took us a few stops and a lot of patience, but we eventually found the right one on the side of the road. My mental image of this one will always be of a bird quickly running from one leafless bush to another, tail sticking straight up! [E]
ZIMMER'S TAPACULO (Scytalopus zimmeri) – A recent discovery in Argentina, we had great views of a cooperative bird right next to the road. Another one of these former Bolivian endemics that has been found in n. Argentina in the past 20 years of so.
WHITE-BROWED TAPACULO (Scytalopus superciliaris superciliaris) – A bit more skulking than the above species, but still seen pretty well by the group. Visually very similar to the above species, but very different vocally. [E]
Melanopareiidae (Crescentchests)
OLIVE-CROWNED CRESCENTCHEST (Melanopareia maximiliani argentina) – We worked so hard on the first one, only to find one easily in the top of a bush a few short minutes later. In Bolivia, this one is found quite high in the Andes, not near sea level like our birds.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SUIRIRI FLYCATCHER (Suiriri suiriri) – This very gray race was formerly split out and was called the Chaco Suiriri.
BUFF-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus hellmayri) – Got him on our second try in Jujuy.
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys)
YELLOW-BILLED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes flavirostris) – Not until we got to the Wedge-tailed Hillstar spot did we run into this little beauty.
TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus)
LARGE ELAENIA (Elaenia spectabilis) – Few in the Chaco this year.
WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia albiceps) [a]
SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris)
SLATY ELAENIA (Elaenia strepera) – These birds had not returned from the wintering grounds in numbers during our visit yet, but it's always one of the last to get here.
HIGHLAND ELAENIA (Elaenia obscura) – One was found sitting on eggs in the Rio Los Sosa Valley. [N]
SOOTY TYRANNULET (Serpophaga nigricans) – Right where I expected it to be at Dique Las Cienegas.
WHITE-CRESTED TYRANNULET (Serpophaga subcristata) – On our first afternoon only in B.A.
WHITE-BELLIED TYRANNULET (Serpophaga munda) – A very close relative of the above species and likely the same species.
STRANECK'S TYRANNULET (Serpophaga griseicapilla) – This little flycatcher was known to many for many years, but it was only recently described to science.
MOTTLE-CHEEKED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes ventralis) – An uncommon flock species in the yungas forests.
ROUGH-LEGGED TYRANNULET (BURMEISTER'S) (Phyllomyias burmeisteri burmeisteri) – This uncommon species was one of the first birds that we found in the yungas along the Camino de Corniza.
SCLATER'S TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias sclateri) – The yungas of n.w. Argentina is probably the best place to see this poorly-known flycatcher.
SOUTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus modestus) – In appearance, much like a tiny Myiarchus flycatcher.
PLAIN TYRANNULET (Inezia inornata) – This one breeds only in the Chaco but winters farther to the north into the pantanal of Brazil.
TAWNY-CROWNED PYGMY-TYRANT (Euscarthmus meloryphus)
GREATER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (Stigmatura budytoides) – This endearing little flycatcher is always in pairs, unlike the vast majority of flycatcher species (why that is, I'm not sure).
PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)
OCHRE-FACED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps) – One particularly confiding individual on the Camino de Corniza.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (MATO GROSSO) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens pallescens) – Keep track of your Yellow-olive Flycatcher subspecies as most are likely to be split someday (but I've been saying that for 20 years...)

A common and distinctive flycatcher of the Chaco woodland: Rufous Casiornis. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus) – Confiding and gorgeous - a couple of fine qualities in a bird.
CLIFF FLYCATCHER (Hirundinea ferruginea pallidior) – If you split out the southern races of this one, ours would be called Swallow Flycatcher.
BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus)
EULER'S FLYCATCHER (Lathrotriccus euleri)
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus)
FUSCOUS FLYCATCHER (Cnemotriccus fuscatus bimaculatus) – Another widespread flycatcher that's in need of some splitting.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – These Andean birds were initially described as a species separate from Black Phoebe, the White-winged Phoebe.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
ANDEAN NEGRITO (Lessonia oreas) – Only up at very high elevation in n. Jujuy.
CINEREOUS TYRANT (Knipolegus striaticeps) – Numbers of this one have diminished with the clearing of habitat in the Chaco.
ANDEAN TYRANT (Knipolegus signatus) – We found these in numbers in the yungas in Jujuy.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus aterrimus) – I suspect that the birds of the inter-Andean valleys and the birds of the monte woodland to the east will likely be shown to be different some day.
SPECTACLED TYRANT (Hymenops perspicillatus) – Clearly related to the black-tyrants, but yet very different.
YELLOW-BROWED TYRANT (Satrapa icterophrys) – Uniquely beautiful.
SPOT-BILLED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola maculirostris) – The smallest and often the most difficult to find ground-tyrant on this tour.
PUNA GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola juninensis) – A couple of these in the bofedal below Abra de Lizoite. A very local species in Argentina.
CINEREOUS GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola cinereus) – A couple of birds farther up the slope toward the pass were determined to be this species, though our looks weren't ideal.
RUFOUS-NAPED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola rufivertex) – That group of birds that we found in the hillstar canyon were likely migrants still headed south.
BLACK-FRONTED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola frontalis) – The wind at the pass was discouraging at first, but we eventually did find this bird once again on territory there.
BLACK-BILLED SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis montanus) – The only regular shrike-tyrant with lots of white in its tail on this tour.
GRAY-BELLIED SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis micropterus) – This one gave us fits near Pozuelos and we never really got the looks we wanted.
LESSER SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis murinus) – A very scarce bird in this habitat, but we're able to find it most years.
BLACK-CROWNED MONJITA (Xolmis coronatus) – This was one of the very pleasant surprises on our drive from Tafi to Moldes. This was surely a migrant headed farther south to breed. [a]
WHITE MONJITA (Xolmis irupero) – I wonder why these conspicuous flycatchers aren't picked off by predators more often than they are.
SALINAS MONJITA (Xolmis salinarum) – Our site for this scarce endemic paid off again this year with fine looks for all. A very close relative of the Rusty-backed Monjita farther south. [E]
STREAK-THROATED BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes striaticollis)
D'ORBIGNY'S CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca oenanthoides) – Finding that nest in the rock crevice was quite a thrill! [N]
WHITE-BROWED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca leucophrys) – This dapper little flycatcher gave us a good show above Tafi.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)
RUFOUS CASIORNIS (Casiornis rufus) – Great looks in the Chaco.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
SWAINSON'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus swainsoni) – This race winters north of here in the Amazon basin.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (SOLITARIUS) (Myiodynastes maculatus solitarius)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – Very similar to the next, but the voices are entirely different.
VARIEGATED FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus varius)
CROWNED SLATY FLYCATCHER (Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus) – Hard to believe, but this one was recently collected in s. Louisiana!
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – Always a superb bird.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
WHITE-TIPPED PLANTCUTTER (Phytotoma rutila) – This and the two other plantcutters were formerly placed in their own family, the Phytotomidae.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
WHITE-NAPED XENOPSARIS (Xenopsaris albinucha) – Never an easy one to find, but it was hard to miss that singing male right next to the road in Cordoba!
GREEN-BACKED BECARD (Pachyramphus viridis) – One of our better finds on our first visit to El Rey NP.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)
CRESTED BECARD (Pachyramphus validus) – We ended up finding a few pairs of this one, along with a couple of active nests, along the Rio Yala in Jujuy. [N]
Vireonidae (Vireos)
RED-EYED VIREO (MIGRATORY CHIVI) (Vireo olivaceus chivi)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
PLUSH-CRESTED JAY (Cyanocorax chrysops) – Certainly one of the fanciest of the few jays present in southern S. America.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)

The very local Rufous-throated Dipper is almost endemic to NW Argentina, its range barely extending into southern Bolivia. We had super encounters with two of these, easily the scarcest of the world's dipper species. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)
TAWNY-HEADED SWALLOW (Alopochelidon fucata) – We had some nice late afternoon light on these near Salta.
ANDEAN SWALLOW (Orochelidon andecola) – This one was added to the official Argentine country list less than twenty years ago, but we've found it fairly regularly in the past decade or so.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
SOUTHERN MARTIN (Progne elegans) – Great studies in Cordoba.
WHITE-RUMPED SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucorrhoa)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis) – Very confiding along the Abra Santa Laura road on the Salta-Jujuy border. [N]
SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) – Nicely in the mountains of Cordoba at the start of the trip. Some day, this widespread 'species' will be revised taxonomically.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola) – Maybe a little cuter than our gnatcatchers?
Cinclidae (Dippers)
RUFOUS-THROATED DIPPER (Cinclus schulzi) – YESSSSS!!!! We had two really fantastic encounters with this scarce and very local species in the yungas of Tucuman, and then again in Jujuy. The toughest of the five dipper species in the World to track down.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – Very few of these N. American migrants this year. [b]
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris) – Almost daily.
CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus) – This one prefers drier habitats than the above.
SLATY THRUSH (Turdus nigriceps) – The main push of migrants from the northern Andes hadn't yet arrived during the tour (most evident in Tucuman), but there were still plenty to be seen.
CHIGUANCO THRUSH (Turdus chiguanco)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
PATAGONIAN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus patagonicus) – Pretty local on this tour, and it does get awfully close to the Bolivian border, a country where it's unrecorded.
WHITE-BANDED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus triurus) – We just had that one bird come in silently along the roadside near the salinas in Cordoba. Much more common farther south in the monte of c. Argentina.
BROWN-BACKED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus dorsalis) – Brilliant views in the high puna scrub of n. Jujuy.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
YELLOWISH PIPIT (Anthus lutescens) – These birds area actually sort of yellowish below at this season.
SHORT-BILLED PIPIT (Anthus furcatus) – Nicely below Tafi Del Valle in Tucuman and high in the puna near Pozuelos.
CORRENDERA PIPIT (CORRENDERA) (Anthus correndera catamarcae) – Good comparisons with the Short-billeds below Tafi del Valle.
HELLMAYR'S PIPIT (Anthus hellmayri hellmayri) – Very common in the tall puna grasslands above Tafi del Valle.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – Hard to believe that this could be the same species that sometimes strays to the lower Rio Grande Valley in s. Texas!
PALE-LEGGED WARBLER (Myiothlypis signatus) – We found a very cooperative individual along the Rio Yala in Jujuy.
TWO-BANDED WARBLER (Myiothlypis bivittatus) – We found several very confiding individuals in the yungas of Salta & Jujuy. Note that these two species were removed from Basileuterus.
BROWN-CAPPED REDSTART (Myioborus brunniceps) – That high-pitched song is right at the limit of hearing for a lot of folks.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
ORANGE-HEADED TANAGER (Thlypopsis sordida) – I think of this one as being pretty dull, but that look we had at El Rey was fabulous!
RUST-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Thlypopsis ruficeps) – We saved this until the very end of the trip this year.
CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum) – Excellent views at our picnic lunch in El Rey.

Argentina has a good variety of finchy things, and we saw 20+ species with finch as part of their names, including this very tit-like Rusty-browed Warbling-Finch. (Photo by guide Dave Steskal)

SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Thraupis bonariensis) – Almost daily on this tour. This southern race is a real stunner!
FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota) – We had a couple of really fantastic looks in the yungas forests throughout.
RUFOUS-BELLIED SALTATOR (Saltator rufiventris) – These scarce saltators were feeding right next to the road where we stopped our bus, giving us some pretty remarkable views! Very local in Argentina.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)
GOLDEN-BILLED SALTATOR (Saltator aurantiirostris) – Almost daily.
MANY-COLORED CHACO FINCH (Saltatricula multicolor) – Recently taken out of the emberizids and aligned with the saltators - seems like a good move to me.
Emberizidae (Buntings, Sparrows and Allies)
BLACK-HOODED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus atriceps) – Only in the pre-puna scrub in Jujuy on this tour.
GRAY-HOODED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus gayi) – This one ranges south all of the way down to Tierra del Fuego. We saw ours near the northern limit of its range.
MOURNING SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus fruticeti) – Superficially pretty similar to the Band-tailed Sierra-Finch.
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus unicolor) – This one ranges north to the Andes of Venezuela and south to Tierra del Fuego - that's quite a range!
RED-BACKED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus dorsalis) – Very local and, previously, very difficult to find. We enjoyed great views of quite a few of these striking birds high in the Andes east of La Quiaca.
ASH-BREASTED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus plebejus) – Another very widespread sierra-finch.
BAND-TAILED SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus alaudinus) – Only a few of these in the Pozuelos area.
COMMON DIUCA-FINCH (Diuca diuca) – In the dry inter-Andean valley south of Cafayate. A very common species farther south in Patagonia.
BLACK-CRESTED FINCH (Lophospingus pusillus) – I think that this one is one of the most attractive species on the entire trip.
RUFOUS-SIDED WARBLING-FINCH (Poospiza hypochondria) – The range map shows that this one is everywhere along our route, but it's always a little bit of a challenge to find.
RUSTY-BROWED WARBLING-FINCH (Poospiza erythrophrys) – This one acts more like a chickadee or a warbler than a finch. Restricted to the yungas forests.
BLACK-AND-RUFOUS WARBLING-FINCH (Poospiza nigrorufa) – This was the race that we saw that first afternoon in B.A.
BLACK-AND-RUFOUS WARBLING-FINCH (BLACK-AND-CHESTNUT) (Poospiza nigrorufa whitii) – Nicely seen on the slopes above Dique La Cienega in Jujuy. Formerly split out as a separate species, the Black-and-chestnut Warbling-Finch.
RINGED WARBLING-FINCH (Poospiza torquata) – This one always reminds me of a Black-throated Gray Warbler.
BLACK-CAPPED WARBLING-FINCH (Poospiza melanoleuca) – Mostly in the driest habitats in the lowlands.
TUCUMAN MOUNTAIN-FINCH (Compsospiza baeri) – We had no trouble at all finding this fabulous endemic above Tafi del Valle. We added tour our experience with this one in the brushy draws along the Cuesta del Obispo road a couple of days later. [E]
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens) – Our only Sporophila of the tour. Those who took the pre-tour extension got quite a few more!
BAND-TAILED SEEDEATER (Catamenia analis) – Not until the last full day in Yavi on the Bolivian border.
PLAIN-COLORED SEEDEATER (Catamenia inornata)
DULL-COLORED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris obscurus) – One of these along the roadside at Abra Santa Laura was the first that I'd seen in the country in many years.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides) – Great views at the base of the Cuesta del Obispo road in Salta.
PUNA YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis lutea) – There seemed to be no shortage of these this year high in the puna zone of n. Jujuy.
BRIGHT-RUMPED YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis uropygialis) – Nicely on our Laguna de Pozuelos day in the far north.
CITRON-HEADED YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis luteocephala) – Lots of these beautiful birds again in Yavi on the last full day of the tour. A rather recent addition to the Argentine country list and formerly thought to be a Bolivian endemic.
GREENISH YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis olivascens) – More widespread than the other highland Sicalis.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)
GREAT PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra platensis olivascens) – This was the inland race that we saw away from the reserve in B.A. A potential (re-)split in the future.
GREAT PAMPA-FINCH (Embernagra platensis platensis)
RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (Paroaria coronata) – These beauties were decidedly scarce this year everywhere.
RED-CRESTED FINCH (Coryphospingus cucullatus) – Normally quite numerous, these finches were also uncharacteristically scarce this year.
SAFFRON-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon flavirostris dorbignii) – Fantastic views in the yungas this year.
WHITE-BROWED BRUSH-FINCH (Arremon torquatus) – A recent split from the 'Stripe-headed' Brush-Finch, this form occurs in the yungas of w. Bolivia south through the Argentine yungas.
FULVOUS-HEADED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes fulviceps) – We had a couple of really fine views of this snazzy bird, a southern yungas specialty.

The beautiful and endemic Yellow-striped Brush-Finch has a very restricted range in NW Argentina. (Photo by guide Dave Stejskal)

YELLOW-STRIPED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes citrinellus) – WOWWW!!! Is there a brush-finch more beautiful than this one? [E]
STRIPE-CAPPED SPARROW (Rhynchospiza strigiceps) – Great views in the monte in Cordoba at the start of the tour.
GRASSLAND SPARROW (Ammodramus humeralis)
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Every single day.
COMMON BUSH-TANAGER (ARGENTINA) (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus argentinus)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (LOWLAND) (Piranga flava flava)
BLACK-BACKED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus aureoventris) – Another 'looker', we had numerous encounters with this beauty in the yungas throughout.
ULTRAMARINE GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa brissonii) – Much easier to see than its congener to the north, the Blue-black Grosbeak.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
WHITE-BROWED BLACKBIRD (Sturnella superciliaris) – A close relative of the Red-breasted Blackbird to the north.
LONG-TAILED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella loyca) – We finally got our good group look on the last full day driving back to Jujuy.
YELLOW-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus thilius) – On our fist afternoon in B.A.
BAY-WINGED COWBIRD (Agelaioides badius) – Almost daily. Note that it's not really a true cowbird anymore. The name of this one ought to be changed to 'Baywing' to avoid confusion with the cowbirds (it's actually a Screaming Cowbird HOST species!)
SCREAMING COWBIRD (Molothrus rufoaxillaris) – What a misleading name!
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
VARIABLE ORIOLE (Icterus pyrrhopterus) – A recent split from Epaulet Oriole to the north.
SOLITARY BLACK CACIQUE (Cacicus solitarius) – A very widespread bird - ranges north to n. Venezuela.
GOLDEN-WINGED CACIQUE (Cacicus chrysopterus) – Very nice looks at a singing male along the Abra Santa Laura road in Salta.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – Right in the parking lot of our Salta hotel - a very recent invader to the area.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica) [*]
GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala) – Nice looks along the Abra Santa Laura road. Formerly known as the Blue-hooded Euphonia before it was split into three.
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus) – From the coastal lowlands to the high puna zona.
BLACK SISKIN (Spinus atratus) – Scarce this year, but great looks nonetheless.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

DARWIN'S PERICOTE (BIG-EARED MOUSE) (Phyllotis darwini) – Some folks saw this peculiar little rodent near the Wedge-tailed Hillstar spot near Pozuelos.
SOUTHERN CAVY (Microcavia australis) – This was the most common 'cavy' that we encountered on the tour.
GUINEA PIG (Cavia aperea) – On our first afternoon in B.A.
MONTANE GUINEA PIG (Cavia tschudii) – The smaller, paler cavy that we saw near Pozuelos was very likely this species. Gotta check that dentition next time!
NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus) – At the lake near Salta on our way to the Chaco.
TAWNY TUCO-TUCO (Ctenomys fulvus) – These little guys were everywhere in the open sandy areas of the Pozuelos basin.
PAMPAS FOX (Pseudalopex gymnocercus) – We had a couple of these in Cordoba and in the Chaco.
CULPEO FOX (Pseudalopex culpaeus) – That individual right next to the bus near Pozuelos was really something!
CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous) – A few saw this one along the roadside in the Chaco on our way to Taco Pozo.
JAGUARUNDI (Puma yagouaroundi) – TWO in the Chaco this year! WOWW!!
VICUNA (Vicugna vicugna) – Really abundant in the Pozuelos basin now.
BROWN BROCKET DEER (Mazama gouazoubira) – A few in Cordoba and in Salta.


Totals for the tour: 405 bird taxa and 12 mammal taxa