South America - Chile


Chile is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with a physical geography that is surprisingly difficult to describe. A blend of New Zealand´s South Island, California and the world´s driest desert. Some 6,500 kilometres of coastline but never be more than 200 kilometres wide!  Despite the country´s strange shape travel is easy with a particularly well developed internal air travel infrastructure served by 3 carriers which keeps prices reasonable. Chile is a stable, modern democracy with a friendly and well educated population and an excellent transport infrastructure.

King Penguins in Patagonia Aptenodytes patagonicus Fernando Díaz Albatross Birding & Nature Tours

From the arid deserts in the north, to the glacial waters of the south via its' cosmopolitan capital, pacific islands and beautiful landscape, birding in Chile can be breath-taking. (Its geography, size & shape does mean however, you are going to have to work to get those ticks!). Sources vary greatly but there are generally accepted to be 530 bird species of which 15 are endemic, including Moustached Turca, Crag Chilia, Slender-billed Parakeet, Chilean Seaside Cinclodes, Dusky-tailed Canastero etc., with another two that are ‘breeding endemics’.

Moustached Turca Pteroptochos megapodius Fernando Díaz Albatross Birding & Nature Tours

Penguins, albatrosses, pelicans, firecrowns, rayaditos, huet-huets, tapaculos, wiretails, earthcreepers, miners, shrike-tyrants and many other unusual sounding species. Many Coloured Rush Tyrant, three different species of Flamingo and the Burrowing Parrot, a Macaw in size and voice and colour but that can be found in giant flocks.

Burrowing Parrot Cyanoliseus patagonus Fernando Díaz Albatross Birding & Nature Tours

Using Santiago as a base, several quality, yet varying, sites are twitchable in a day. Over on the coast try the Rio Aconcagua estuary at Con-Con for excellent close up views of the beautiful Many-Coloured Rush Tyrant. In surrounding areas venture up to the Penguin Rock at Cachagua as it also holds good spots as does the Laguna Peral site which is south of Valparaiso and is famed for its Black-Necked Swans.

Salvin’s Albatross Thalassarche salvini Fernando Díaz Albatross Birding & Nature Tours

Travelling in the other direction head on up into the Andes and to El Yeso reservoir to get amongst other great birds, in particular the endemic Crag Chilia, the must-see Diademed Sandpiper Plover and, of course, the magnificent Andean Condor.

Diademed Sandpiper Plover Phegornis mitchellii Fernando Díaz Albatross Birding & Nature Tours

To the north is La Campana National Park and Estero Lampa, and to the south lies Rio Clarillo National Park.

Away from the capital you have the high altitude options around Putre and Lauca National Park with its three types of flamingos and the scenic wonder of snow-capped volcanoes. There are various good sites around Concepcion including the massive estuary of the Bio-Bio River. Laguna Torca National Park, Lago Budi and Temuco's city park all top quality sites. The extreme south of the Country is also good, you will not be disappointed especially if you can get on a pelagic trip.

White-bellied Seedsnipe Attagis malouinus Fernando Díaz Albatross Birding & Nature Tours

There isn't an abundance of birding data available on Chile, which on one hand is a shame, but on the other hand gives you the feeling of being a pioneer in the field of birding.

Chilean Tinamou Nothoprocta perdicaria Fernando Díaz Albatross Birding & Nature Tours

During your birding here, unless you are in a group, your chances of meeting any other birders is zero, but Chile is a very safe place to go birding and well worth a visit.

 

Major Source: Fatbirder

Map Source: Googlemaps™

Photo Source:  Albatross Birding & Nature Tours


Companies Offering Services to this Destination


Company Type Company Name
Tours Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile
Tours Manu Expeditions Birding & Photo Tours
Tours Sunbird
Tours Tropical Birding


Trip Reports for this Destination


Company or User Destination Sub destination Description Trip Start Date
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Santiago de Chile 2 DAYS BIRDING AROUND SANTIAGO + A PELAGIC TRIP OFF VALPARAISO January 01, 2011 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Central Chile Central Chile January 22, 2011 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Central Chile and Patagonia Central Chile and Patagonia December 05, 2011 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Central Chile Central Chile February 25, 2012 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Day Trip Around Santiago Day trip Around Santiago May 08, 2012 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Central Chile Central Chile October 15, 2012 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Day trip Around Santiago Day trip Around Santiago January 10, 2013 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Valparaiso, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina Cruise Valparaiso-Buenos Aires. February 13, 2014 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile All Chile North to Patagonia All Chile North to Patagonia November 02, 2014 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Santiago de Chile DAY TRIP AROUND SANTIAGO: Birding trip to coastal wetlands of central Chile July 16, 2015 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Central Chile Birding trip to Central Chile November 06, 2015 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Santiago de Chile Birding El Yeso Valley. A full day around Santiago, Chile December 01, 2015 Download Report
Albatross Birding and Nature Tours in Chile Chile Santiago de Chile Highland above Santiago, April 2016 April 04, 2016 Download Report


Checklist of birds for South America - Chile
Birding hotspots for South America - Chile