Our tour of Southern Argentina combines spectacular birds and mammals with vast, open landscapes, towering mountains, and tasty food and wine during the austral spring. As usual, this year's tour visited four major areas that offered us a sampling of the diversity of the southern end of this large country: Buenos Aires and the pampas; Trelew/ Peninsula Valdes/ Las Grutas; Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego; and El Calafate on the flank of the Andes.
In Buenos Aires, we strolled around the trails at the fabulous urban refuge Costanera Sur, finding Masked Ducks, Narrow-billed Woodcreepers, Chivi Vireos, and Southern Screamers. A road trip to San Clemente del Tuyu introduced us to many pampas and coastal birds ranging from Scarlet-headed Blackbird and Hudson's Canastero to White-throated Hummingbird and Olrog's Gull.
Flying south to Patagonia, we embarked on another road trip between Trelew, Puerto Madryn, Peninsula Valdes, and Las Grutas. Though we met with some windy conditions along the way, we had a great time watching nesting Magellanic Penguins, Killer Whales cruising offshore past loafing Southern Elephant Seals, and numerous specialty birds like White-headed Steamer-Duck, Hudson's Black Tyrant, Carbonated Sierra Finch, Patagonian Yellow-finch, and Sandy Gallito.
This year we spent four nights at the southern outpost of Ushuaia on the Beagle Channel of Tierra del Fuego. This gave us plenty of time to enjoy Magellanic Woodpecker and Austral Pygmy-Owl at Tierra del Fuego National Park, take a boat trip to see albatrosses and nesting penguins on the Beagle Channel (including King!), and explore the outskirts of Ushuaia to find White-throated Caracara and Austral Parakeet. The way the mountains dive into the sea at Ushuaia creates some dramatic and memorable landscapes, too.
The final stage of our route found us at the foot of the Andes at El Calafate. Here we found the rare and unique Magellanic Plover, got up close and personal with Andean Condor and the newly split Lesser Horned Owl, and viewed the exquisite Perito Moreno Glacier.
Many thanks to Juan Klavins for his camaraderie and guiding efforts in the field, and to Caroline Lewis in the Field Guides office for logistical efforts behind the scenes. I hope the video above and bird list & photos below bring back some great memories from the journey. Thanks for joining us in Southern Argentina!
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
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
GREATER RHEA (Rhea americana)
These massive birds were in the grasslands south of Buenos Aires.
LESSER RHEA (DARWIN'S) (Rhea pennata pennata)
The smaller rheas that we found in Patagonia belonged to this species.
DARWIN'S NOTHURA (Nothura darwinii)
Heard on two occasions on Peninsula Valdes.
SPOTTED NOTHURA (Nothura maculosa)
Great views of birds walking across the pastures at La Corvina.
ELEGANT CRESTED-TINAMOU (Eudromia elegans)
These spectacular tinamous are quite common in the areas we visited in Chubut and Rio Negro. We saw many trios!
SOUTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna torquata)
These bizarre, massive birds were seen regularly in Buenos Aires and in the pampas closer to Punta Rasa.
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)
Two were at Costanera Sur.
BLACK-NECKED SWAN (Cygnus melancoryphus)
COSCOROBA SWAN (Coscoroba coscoroba)
UPLAND GOOSE (Chloephaga picta)
Fairly common at Ushuaia and El Calafate.
KELP GOOSE (Chloephaga hybrida)
Seen in the intertidal zone along the Beagle Channel.
ASHY-HEADED GOOSE (Chloephaga poliocephala)
A few pairs grazed warily in the channel-side pastures near our hotel in Ushuaia.
FLYING STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres patachonicus)
Regular sightings in direct comparison with Flightless along the Beagle Channel (with additional sightings at Tierra del Fuego NP).
FLIGHTLESS STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres pteneres)
These big, chunky seaducks were along the Beagle Channel around Ushuaia.
WHITE-HEADED STEAMER-DUCK (Tachyeres leucocephalus) [E]
The close pair at Punta Tombo was particularly confiding. This is a localized species along the south-central coast of Argentina. Also sometimes called "Chubut Steamer-Duck."
CRESTED DUCK (Lophonetta specularioides)
SPECTACLED DUCK (Speculanas specularis)
Wow - this uncommon species was a real highlight of our visit to Los Glaciares National Park. A pair of adults tended to five fuzzy ducklings on a forested pond as we watched from the roadside.
RINGED TEAL (Callonetta leucophrys)
One pair at Costanera Sur.
BRAZILIAN TEAL (Amazonetta brasiliensis)
SILVER TEAL (Spatula versicolor)
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)
RED SHOVELER (Spatula platalea)
CHILOE WIGEON (Mareca sibilatrix)
WHITE-CHEEKED PINTAIL (Anas bahamensis)
We saw only two birds at El Palenque.
YELLOW-BILLED PINTAIL (Anas georgica)
YELLOW-BILLED TEAL (FLAVIROSTRIS) (Anas flavirostris flavirostris)
ROSY-BILLED POCHARD (Netta peposaca)
BLACK-HEADED DUCK (Heteronetta atricapilla)
These bizarre "egg dumpers" were quite common at a few sites including El Palenque and Trelew.
MASKED DUCK (Nomonyx dominicus)
A superb bird to start the tour with - we saw 9 lounging in the marshy ponds at Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires. This nomadic and secretive duck can be quite challenging to track down across its range.
LAKE DUCK (Oxyura vittata)
CHILEAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus chilensis)
Many sightings of these fine beasts including 3000+ birds at the Trelew lagoons.
WHITE-TUFTED GREBE (Rollandia rolland)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
One was at Costanera Sur.
GREAT GREBE (Podiceps major)
SILVERY GREBE (PATAGONIAN) (Podiceps occipitalis occipitalis)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PICAZURO PIGEON (Patagioenas picazuro)
Especially common around Buenos Aires and the pampas.
SPOT-WINGED PIGEON (Patagioenas maculosa)
Less common than the preceding species, but several good sightings in the San Clemente/ Punta Rasa area.
PICUI GROUND DOVE (Columbina picui)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
GUIRA CUCKOO (Guira guira)
The best view of this strange cuckoo was of a roadside bird near the base of Punta Rasa.
GLITTERING-BELLIED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon lucidus)
Several sightings in the Buenos Aires leg of the journey.
WHITE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Leucochloris albicollis)
Two handsome, countersinging birds showed off nicely at Punta Rasa.
GILDED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis chrysura)
Building a nest at Costanera Sur.
PLUMBEOUS RAIL (Pardirallus sanguinolentus)
Great views of multiple birds at Canal 2 and El Palenque.
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)
SPOT-FLANKED GALLINULE (Porphyriops melanops)
Good looks at Costanera Sur (our only sightings).
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
RED-FRONTED COOT (Fulica rufifrons)
RED-GARTERED COOT (Fulica armillata)
WHITE-WINGED COOT (Fulica leucoptera)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
SNOWY SHEATHBILL (Chionis albus)
Seeing members of the bizarre Sheatbill family was a highlight for several in our group. It was particularly nice to have many quality encounters ranging from the 58 we counted at an overlook on Peninsula Valdes to the obliging birds that landed on our boat and walked around mere feet away while we were on the Beagle Channel near Ushuaia.
MAGELLANIC PLOVER (Pluvianellus socialis)
A remarkably weird shorebird, almost like a mixture of a turnstone and a dove. We searched specifically for this species along the shores of Lago Argentino near El Calafate, and our efforts were rewarded by views of two foraging individuals.
BLACK-NECKED STILT (WHITE-BACKED) (Himantopus mexicanus melanurus)
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)
BLACKISH OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus ater)
MAGELLANIC OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus leucopodus)
We found these lovely shorebirds in coastal rocky habitats and on inland grasslands near El Calafate.
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica)
TAWNY-THROATED DOTTEREL (Oreopholus ruficollis)
At least one bird was heard vocalizing during our Chocolate-vented Tyrant search, but we just couldn't spot it.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (LAMPRONOTUS) (Vanellus chilensis lampronotus)
In the north near Buenos Aires.
SOUTHERN LAPWING (CHILENSIS/FRETENSIS) (Vanellus chilensis chilensis)
TWO-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius falklandicus)
A few sightings - at Peninsula Valdes and near El Calafate.
LEAST SEEDSNIPE (Thinocorus rumicivorus)
It was impressive to see these rotund, well-camouflaged birds on the steppe near El Calafate.
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
HUDSONIAN GODWIT (Limosa haemastica)
Most of these wintering shorebirds were on mudflats near Punta Rasa.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus)
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii)
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (Calidris fuscicollis)
The most common peep of our journey.
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER (Calidris subruficollis)
We found a loose wintering flock of six of these beautiful shorebirds in a cattle pasture at El Palenque.
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos)
MAGELLANIC SNIPE (Gallinago magellanica)
Close studies at Ushuaia; formerly part of the superspecies known as "South American Snipe."
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor)
The best views were at El Palenque.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
CHILEAN SKUA (Stercorarius chilensis)
This was the common skua with flame-orange plumage highlights that we saw along the Beagle Channel.
BROWN SKUA (Stercorarius antarcticus)
A single distant bird flew by at the penguin colony at Punta Tombo.
BROWN-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus maculipennis)
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)
A few sightings along the coast south of Buenos Aires; greatly outnumbered by Brown-hooded Gulls.
DOLPHIN GULL (Leucophaeus scoresbii)
This handsome, mid-sized gull is particularly common along the Beagle Channel at Ushuaia. Quite a few were hanging out around the South American Sea Lions.
OLROG'S GULL (Larus atlanticus)
A flock of about 90 birds, mostly immatures, lounged on the flats with many terns and shorebirds at Punta Rasa. This is a range-restricted species that breeds in a small area farther south along the Argentine coast.
KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus)
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)
A huge flock was on the flats at Punta Rasa, an important wintering site for the species.
SOUTH AMERICAN TERN (Sterna hirundinacea)
SNOWY-CROWNED TERN (Sterna trudeaui)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
SANDWICH TERN (CAYENNE) (Thalasseus sandvicensis eurygnathus)
This is the mostly yellow-billed southern subspecies of Sandwich Tern. Most of ours were around Punta Rasa.
BLACK SKIMMER (INTERCEDENS) (Rynchops niger intercedens)
KING PENGUIN (Aptenodytes patagonicus)
A major highlight of our Beagle Channel boat trip. One stately adult stood tall in the middle of a Gentoo Penguin colony at Isla Martillo.
GENTOO PENGUIN (Pygoscelis papua)
About 65 birds were at the rookery at Isla Martillo on the Beagle Channel.
MAGELLANIC PENGUIN (Spheniscus magellanicus)
Though numbers have declined significantly in recent decades, we still saw hundreds of these penguins at colonies at Punta Tombo, Peninsula Valdes, and along the Beagle Channel.
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche melanophris)
Albatross! We saw around 100 of these majestic seabirds, mostly during our Beagle Channel boat trip.
SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL (Macronectes giganteus)
This was the common giant-petrel species that we identified on the tour (pale greenish bill tip).
NORTHERN GIANT-PETREL (Macronectes halli)
A few flybys and roosting birds at Peninsula Valdes (dark red bill tip).
SOUTHERN FULMAR (Fulmarus glacialoides)
Several close sightings in the Beagle Channel during our boat trip.
SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea)
One flew by rapidly during the Beagle Channel boat trip.
MAGELLANIC DIVING-PETREL (Pelecanoides magellani)
Three brief sightings of these small, Dovekie-like tubenoses on the glassy water during the morning segment of our Beagle Channel boat trip.
MAGUARI STORK (Ciconia maguari)
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)
MAGELLANIC CORMORANT (Leucocarbo magellanicus)
Up close on nests on the Beagle Channel.
IMPERIAL CORMORANT (Leucocarbo atriceps)
Many close views on Peninsula Valdes and at colonies around Ushuaia.
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix)
The three noisy birds we saw at Laguna Chis Chis were involved in an elaborate courtship.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
A few sightings including the dark-plumaged birds at Ushuaia.
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus)
Just a few individuals seen during our birding around the wet grasslands near San Clemente.
BLACK-FACED IBIS (Theristicus melanopis)
These striking ibis were confiding near our hotel in Ushuaia.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)
ANDEAN CONDOR (Vultur gryphus)
Though we had numerous flight views, the close, perched bird along the edge of the forest at Los Glaciares National Park was simply spectacular. It was quite humbling to spend time in close proximity to such a massive bird.
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
Just one near Las Grutas.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
LONG-WINGED HARRIER (Circus buffoni)
The dark morph birds were particularly striking. One being chased by territorial Southern Lapwings near Punta Rasa sticks in my mind.
CINEREOUS HARRIER (Circus cinereus)
A few sightings including a very close bird at Hoya del Chingue near El Calafate.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus)
VARIABLE HAWK (VARIABLE) (Geranoaetus polyosoma polyosoma)
Our first sighting was the bird standing on a close roadside nest outside of Trelew.
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus)
GREAT HORNED OWL (MAGELLANIC) (Bubo virginianus magellanicus)
Now split from Great Horned Owl by eBird/ Clements taxonomy as Bubo magellanicus, the Lesser Horned Owl. Ours was a beautiful day-roosting bird in a forested grove outside of El Calafate.
AUSTRAL PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium nana)
One bird perched nervously in the treetops at Tierra del Fuego National Park.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)
A particularly close bird was along the road on Peninsula Valdes.
CHECKERED WOODPECKER (Dryobates mixtus)
A few sightings of these small woodpeckers at Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires.
MAGELLANIC WOODPECKER (Campephilus magellanicus)
Remarkably, we found 8 of these big woodpeckers during our time in the Ushuaia area. 7 were scattered throughout Tierra del Fuego NP, including a pair visiting an active nest hole. Fantastic!
GREEN-BARRED WOODPECKER (GOLDEN-BREASTED) (Colaptes melanochloros melanolaimus)
Two were on a lawn at Punta Rasa.
CHILEAN FLICKER (Colaptes pitius)
Good views outside of El Calafate.
WHITE-THROATED CARACARA (Phalcoboenus albogularis)
Repeated sightings around Ushuaia and El Calafate - as usual, our best sightings came at the landfill outside Ushuaia, perhaps the finest spot to watch this uncommon species.
CRESTED CARACARA (SOUTHERN) (Caracara plancus plancus)
CHIMANGO CARACARA (Milvago chimango)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis)
One bird hopped from fencepost to fencepost outside El Calafate, offering close views from inside the bus.
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus)
AUSTRAL PARAKEET (Enicognathus ferrugineus)
These forest parakeets offered us a nice challenge but we eventually tracked down some noisy individuals at the edge of a lovely Nothofagus forest on the outskirts of Ushuaia. Later we saw a close group at a picnic area at Los Glaciares.
BURROWING PARAKEET (Cyanoliseus patagonus)
These big Patagonian parakeets are pretty spectacular; our biggest numbers were around Las Grutas, where they even fly into town to roost on utility wires at night!
NANDAY PARAKEET (Aratinga nenday) [I]
WHITE-EYED PARAKEET (Psittacara leucophthalmus) [I]
SANDY GALLITO (Teledromas fuscus) [E]
This chunky little terrestrial phantom was one of the highlights of our visit to Las Grutas. It was pretty exciting to see it running down the sandy hill toward us!
MAGELLANIC TAPACULO (Scytalopus magellanicus)
Wow - very nice views of two birds skulking around on the forest floor near the Perito Moreno Glacier.
COMMON MINER (PATAGONIAN) (Geositta cunicularia cunicularia)
SHORT-BILLED MINER (Geositta antarctica)
Two of these ovenbirds made for a nice surprise on the open steppe below Hoya del Chingue.
NARROW-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris)
Fun to start off the tour with super views of this woodcreeper in the city of Buenos Aires.
WHITE-THROATED TREERUNNER (Pygarrhichas albogularis)
A peculiar, nuthatch-like ovenbird of the southern beech forests. Though they weren't conspicuous, we did find a cooperative individual near the Patagonian Tyrant at Tierra del Fuego NP.
BAND-TAILED EARTHCREEPER (Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus)
We enjoyed two sightings of this distinctive ovenbird in desert scrub while in Chubut. Nearly endemic to Argentina (but also found in a small area of Chile).
RUFOUS HORNERO (Furnarius rufus)
Argentina's national bird - responsible for many of the brown mud oven nests that we saw frequently in the Buenos Aires and Las Grutas areas.
WREN-LIKE RUSHBIRD (Phleocryptes melanops)
An ovenbird that takes on a Marsh Wren-like niche in wetland habitats; a few sightings near San Clemente.
SCALE-THROATED EARTHCREEPER (Upucerthia dumetaria)
BUFF-WINGED CINCLODES (Cinclodes fuscus)
BLACKISH CINCLODES (BLACK) (Cinclodes antarcticus maculirostris)
During the Beagle Channel boat trip, we had amazing views of a few individuals that flew over and landed on our boat to have a drink of water from the windshield sprayers. This rare taxon could well represent a separate species from the Blackish Cinclodes of the Falkland Islands - stay tuned on that!
DARK-BELLIED CINCLODES (Cinclodes patagonicus)
Close to the water's edge at Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego NP.
THORN-TAILED RAYADITO (Aphrastura spinicauda)
A chickadee-like ovenbird of the forests of Patagonia. Quite common near Ushuaia.
TUFTED TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura platensis)
One chastised us from a forested patch at Punta Rasa.
PLAIN-MANTLED TIT-SPINETAIL (PALLIDA) (Leptasthenura aegithaloides pallida)
Particularly nice views in the scrub at Punta Tombo.
FRECKLE-BREASTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus striaticollis)
FIREWOOD-GATHERER (Anumbius annumbi)
SHORT-BILLED CANASTERO (Asthenes baeri)
Just one near Las Grutas.
HUDSON'S CANASTERO (Asthenes hudsoni)
These sneaky, streaky ovenbirds were in the overgrown edges of pasture at La Corvina.
AUSTRAL CANASTERO (Asthenes anthoides)
Heard only at Hoya del Chingue.
SHARP-BILLED CANASTERO (Asthenes pyrrholeuca)
SULPHUR-BEARDED REEDHAUNTER (Limnoctites sulphuriferus)
One excellent view in the marsh at Canal 2.
STRIPE-CROWNED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca pyrrhophia)
PATAGONIAN CANASTERO (Pseudasthenes patagonica) [E]
Our best views were in the scrubby desert south of Trelew where we also saw Band-tailed Earthcreeper.
BAY-CAPPED WREN-SPINETAIL (Spartonoica maluroides)
This charming, tiny ovenbird sang and occasionally showed itself to us at La Corvina and Punta Rasa.
BROWN CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura lophotes)
Close views of a responsive individual near San Antonio.
WHITE-THROATED CACHOLOTE (Pseudoseisura gutturalis) [E]
After playing cat-and-mouse near Puerto Madryn, we eventually had some superb sightings of this chunky, large-billed ovenbird.
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
One was vocal and responsive along Canal 2 in the Pampas.
CHOTOY SPINETAIL (Schoeniophylax phryganophilus)
This well-patterned ovenbird approached us for some nice views in open scrub forest south of Buenos Aires.
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens)
One was in the arroyos near Las Grutas.
WHITE-TIPPED PLANTCUTTER (Phytotoma rutila)
Several good experiences with these odd cotingas at Punta Tombo and Las Grutas.
RUFOUS-TAILED PLANTCUTTER (Phytotoma rara)
Two were at Hoya del Chingue.
MANY-COLORED RUSH TYRANT (Tachuris rubrigastra)
A truly spectacular little marsh flycatcher - we saw a few near San Clemente.
YELLOW-BILLED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes flavirostris)
One nice sighting in taller scrub south of Las Grutas.
TUFTED TIT-TYRANT (Anairetes parulus)
BEARDED TACHURI (Polystictus pectoralis)
Two of these tiny, uncommon flycatchers popped up along the side of the road at La Corvina.
WARBLING DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx flaviventris)
In the pampas marshes near San Clemente.
SMALL-BILLED ELAENIA (Elaenia parvirostris)
WHITE-CRESTED ELAENIA (Elaenia albiceps)
SOOTY TYRANNULET (Serpophaga nigricans)
WHITE-CRESTED TYRANNULET (Serpophaga subcristata)
Good looks at Costanera Sur.
STRANECK'S TYRANNULET (Serpophaga griseicapilla)
Most of these cryptic flycatchers were at Las Grutas.
GREATER WAGTAIL-TYRANT (Stigmatura budytoides)
One showed off boldly in the arroyos at Las Grutas.
SOUTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus modestus)
This modest-looking flycatcher was a great find in the dry arroyos near Las Grutas at the extreme southern end of its range.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
AUSTRAL NEGRITO (Lessonia rufa)
WHITE-WINGED BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus aterrimus)
HUDSON'S BLACK-TYRANT (Knipolegus hudsoni)
The area around Las Grutas was good for comparing this species with White-winged Black-Tyrant. Both species were displaying, with male Hudson's jumping between different perches and male White-winged jumping up and then returning to the same perch each time.
SPECTACLED TYRANT (Hymenops perspicillatus)
YELLOW-BROWED TYRANT (Satrapa icterophrys)
Just a couple of brief sightings in the pampas.
OCHRE-NAPED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola flavinucha)
DARK-FACED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola maclovianus)
CINNAMON-BELLIED GROUND-TYRANT (Muscisaxicola capistratus)
FIRE-EYED DIUCON (Pyrope pyrope)
The lovely red-eyed birds we found outside Ushuaia were remarkably bold and even landed on a few of us briefly!
WHITE MONJITA (Xolmis irupero)
Two of these stunners were in the scrub adjacent to the "ornithological lagoons" (perhaps the best birding location euphemism ever?) at Trelew.
RUSTY-BACKED MONJITA (Neoxolmis rubetra) [E]
Small numbers of these flycatchers stood around on the ground in the open country of Peninsula Valdes.
CHOCOLATE-VENTED TYRANT (Neoxolmis rufiventris)
On our final morning of birding, we tracked down these large, handsome terrestrial flycatchers on the barren steppe outside El Calafate. A great note to end the tour on!
GRAY-BELLIED SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis micropterus)
A pair flew overhead and then did some aerial displays in the distance on Peninsula Valdes.
LESSER SHRIKE-TYRANT (Agriornis murinus)
PATAGONIAN TYRANT (Colorhamphus parvirostris)
This distinctive forest species is uncommon on our tour route, so it was the great prize of our hike at Tierra del Fuego NP near Ushuaia.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana)
CHIVI VIREO (Vireo chivi)
Singing birds showed off along the trails at Costanera Sur.
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (PATAGONICA) (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca patagonica)
These were the Blue-and-white Swallows that we saw in the southern part of the route.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
SOUTHERN MARTIN (Progne elegans)
Super studies of nesting birds at the Peninsula Valdes visitor center.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (FUSCA) (Progne tapera fusca)
WHITE-RUMPED SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucorrhoa)
CHILEAN SWALLOW (Tachycineta leucopyga)
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
MASKED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila dumicola dumicola)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus)
GRASS WREN (PAMPAS) (Cistothorus platensis platensis)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Introduced to South America in the Buenos Aires area.
PATAGONIAN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus patagonicus)
CHALK-BROWED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus saturninus)
WHITE-BANDED MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus triurus)
These snazzy migrant mockingbirds were most common in the Las Grutas area.
RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus rufiventris)
AUSTRAL THRUSH (Turdus falcklandii)
CREAMY-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus amaurochalinus)
CHIGUANCO THRUSH (Turdus chiguanco)
Just a few around Puerto Madryn.
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
SHORT-BILLED PIPIT (Anthus furcatus)
We enjoyed good views of flight-displaying birds singing overhead in a burned area near the base of Peninsula Valdes.
CORRENDERA PIPIT (Anthus correndera)
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus)
BLACK-CHINNED SISKIN (Spinus barbatus)
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)
WHITE-BROWED MEADOWLARK (Leistes superciliaris)
LONG-TAILED MEADOWLARK (Leistes loyca)
VARIABLE ORIOLE (Icterus pyrrhopterus)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
AUSTRAL BLACKBIRD (Curaeus curaeus)
It took a bit of searching, but we eventually had some great views of these odd blackbirds on the outskirts of Ushuaia near our hotel.
SCARLET-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Amblyramphus holosericeus)
These striking blackbirds with the orange-red heads were in the pampas marshes of El Palenque.
GRAYISH BAYWING (Agelaioides badius)
YELLOW-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelasticus thilius)
BROWN-AND-YELLOW MARSHBIRD (Pseudoleistes virescens)
A conspicuous songbird in the west grasslands and marshes of the pampas.
MASKED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis aequinoctialis)
Now in the eBird/ Clements taxonomy as Southern Yellowthroat, Geothlypis velata. We found two at Costanera Sur.
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)
RED-CRESTED CARDINAL (Paroaria coronata)
RINGED WARBLING FINCH (Microspingus torquatus)
This well-marked songbird was a welcome sight in the wind at Las Grutas.
BLUE-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Rauenia bonariensis)
Our best looks were at the small grove surrounding the shrine to Gauchito Gil in northern Chubut.
SAYACA TANAGER (Thraupis sayaca)
GRAY-HOODED SIERRA FINCH (Phrygilus gayi)
PATAGONIAN SIERRA FINCH (Phrygilus patagonicus)
DIUCA FINCH (Diuca diuca)
YELLOW-BRIDLED FINCH (Melanodera xanthogramma)
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA FINCH (Geospizopsis unicolor)
These rather plain songbirds were our prize at the bottom of the ski slope at Hoya del Chingue.
MOURNING SIERRA FINCH (Rhopospina fruticeti)
CARBONATED SIERRA FINCH (Rhopospina carbonaria) [E]
Though numbers vary tour-to-tour, this year we had no trouble finding the charming males doing their cascading flight displays in the lush desert outside Puerto Madryn.
LONG-TAILED REED FINCH (Donacospiza albifrons)
A highlight of the grasslands on Punta Rasa.
CINNAMON WARBLING FINCH (Poospiza ornata) [E]
Though we had to contend with wind, we had some great views of this stunning songbird just outside Las Grutas.
BLACK-AND-RUFOUS WARBLING FINCH (Poospiza nigrorufa)
PATAGONIAN YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis lebruni)
One of these drab, uncommon songbirds put on a close-up show at a coastal bluff on Peninsula Valdes.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)
GRASSLAND YELLOW-FINCH (GRASSLAND) (Sicalis luteola luteiventris)
GREAT PAMPA-FINCH (EASTERN) (Embernagra platensis platensis)
These big songbirds singing atop tall flags of pampas grass makes for some indelible local imagery.
DOUBLE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila caerulescens)
GOLDEN-BILLED SALTATOR (Saltator aurantiirostris)
These lovely songbirds were in the scrub forest at Costanera Sur.
SEVEN-BANDED ARMADILLO (Dasypus septemcinctus)
We saw the "Southern" Seven-banded Armadillo nicely in that open pasture at La Corvina.
OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
EUROPEAN BROWN HARE (Lepus europaeus)
BEAVER (Castor canadensis)
Introduced to Tierra del Fuego.
SOUTHERN CAVY (Microcavia australis)
Also called Southern Mountain Cavy.
GUINEA PIG (Cavia aperea)
Also called Brazilian Guinea Pig; seen at Punta Rasa.
PATAGONIAN CAVY (Dolichotis patagonum) [E]
More commonly known as Patagonian Mara; these were the chunky, beautiful hare-like mammals we saw repeatedly on the Peninsula Valdes.
CAPYBARA (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)
A few sightings of these very large, block-headed rodents at Canal 2/ El Palenque in the Pampas.
NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus)
Common in the marshes south of Buenos Aires.
ORCA (Orcinus orca)
Wow - Killer Whales! These iconic black-and-white marine mammals were patrolling the nearshore waters at our lunch spot on Peninsula Valdes.
BURMEISTER'S PORPOISE (Phocoena spinipinnis)
This small, uncommon cetacean slipped through the water inconspicuously on a glassy calm section of our Beagle Channel boat trip. A lifer for Tom!
SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE (Eubalaena australis)
Though we did track down a few on the boat trip out of Puerto Piramides, it was perhaps even more impressive to see up to 6 animals blowing and rolling around at the surface just offshore from our hotel in Puerto Madryn.
SOUTHERN GRAY FOX (Pseudalopex griseus)
Repeated sightings of these handsome foxes including one up close and personal outside our hotel in Ushuaia.
SOUTHERN SEA LION (Otaria byronia)
Up close views at Peninsula Valdes and on the Beagle Channel islands.
SOUTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL (Mirounga leonina)
These were the very large pinnipeds that we saw on the beaches of Peninsula Valdes.
GUANACO (Lama guanicoe)
We saw many of these goofy-looking, shaggy camelids across Patagonia.
Totals for the tour: 268 bird taxa and 16 mammal taxa