Guanaco Bush, Anarthrophyllum desideratum, Torres del paine, Chile

ANARTHOPHYLLUM DESIDERATUM.AB
©Alvaro Barrientos, Far South Expeditions.

Opening the flowering season all over the park and many other locations in Patagonia, it is one of the first flowers to bloom in this area.

It is an endemic species to the southernmost continental Patagonia. This genus comprises no more than 15 different species living in the andean mountain range.

Like most legumes, it is quite resistant to the hard climate conditions of Patagonia. This is in part explained by its adaptations like short stems to avoid the full impact of the dehydrating and cooling, almost permanent Patagonian winds and to keep it closer to the relatively warmer ground.

 

 

White-throated Caracara, Phalcoboenus albogularis, Chilean Patagonia

White-throated Caracara, Phalcoboenus albogularis,

Endemic to the Patagonian Andes. Occurs in mountain areas, forested hills, high Patagonian steppes and borders of rivers. Often seen around rubbish dumps, slaughter-houses and other human settlements.

Scarce to locally common resident in Patagonia.

White-throated Caracara, Phalcoboenus albogularis, *juvenile © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
White-throated Caracara, Phalcoboenus albogularis, *juvenile

Alone or in pairs. Sometimes in family groups. Scavenger, mainly feeding on the corpses of cattle, but also preying on small rodents.

Often seen perched high on cliffs, hillsides or fences. Shy and very wary.

White-throated Caracara, Phalcoboenus albogularis, © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
White-throated Caracara, Phalcoboenus albogularis, © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

Rufous-tailed Hawk, Buteo ventralis, Patagonia, Chile

Rufous-tailed Hawk, Buteo ventralis, medium-sized raptor.

Habitat, in open Nothofagus and Araucaria forested sectors: forest borders, parks and adjacent shrubby coastal areas. Also in secondary forest. From the coast to the Andes.

Endemic to Patagonia, rare to locally common resident along both slopes of the Andes.

Alone or in pairs. Perches on trees, posts and fences. Flight high and gliding, sometimes circling at considerable height. Wary, although sometimes allows approach.

Rufous-tailed Hawk, Buteo ventralis, *adult © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

 

Rufous-tailed Hawk, Buteo ventralis, *juvenile © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

 

Austral Rail, Rallus antarcticus, Patagonia, Chile

Austral Rail, Rallus antarcticus, the smallest member of Rallus genus. Endemic to Patagonia. Very scarce to locally frequent in some places in southern regions of Argentina and Chile, resident through eastern Patagonia south to central-eastern Magallanes. Scarce and local summer resident, that breeds in Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia.

Present on lagoons, ponds and in damp grasslands adjacent to marshy areas with abundant dense reeds, situated on the shrubby patagonian steppe.

Alone or in pairs. Also in family groups. Rather territorial during the breeding season. Curious. Loud and singular call. Spends most of its time hidden in vegetation making it very difficult to observe. Considered as a vulnerable species. Its population is estimated to be between 2,500 – 10,000 individuals.

© Jorge Ruiz

Austral Rail, Rallus antarcticus, © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

Cinereous Harrier, Circus cinereus, San Gregorio, Magallanes, Chilean Patagonia

Cinereous Harrier, Circus cinereus, smallish and beautiful raptor. Their habitat includes damp terrains, grasslands, cultivated fields and arid Patagonian steppes with scattered bushes.

The southernmost populations migrate nothwards to more temperature regions of Central Chile and Argentina. Although, many individuals remains in the southern regions during the colder months.

Hunts by long and low glides with slow wing-beats, above the reeds, bushes and grasslands, looking and chasing for its prey, composed mainly by rodents, small birds, frogs and insects.

A small and very territorial group protect the breeding territory in the middle of the patagonian steppe with Greenbush, Lepidophyllum cupressiforme.

♂ Cinereous Harrier, © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
♂ Cinereous Harrier, © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
♀ Cinereous Harrier, Photo © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
♀ Cinereous Harrier, © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
♀ Cinereous Harrier, Photo © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
♀ Cinereous Harrier, © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

 

 

 

 

 

Grumbler Lizard, Araucania, Chile

Pristidactylus sp.

A colourful Grumbler Lizard, genus Pristidactylus rests on a tree branch in Conguillio National Park, Araucanía, Chile.

Mostly an arboreal lizard, it is an endemic to the Chilean Temperate Rainforest.

Magellanic Cormorant, Phalacrocorax magellanicus

Extending wings, tail and webbed feet, a Magellanic Cormorant, Phalacrocorax magellanicus brakes in the air just before alighting on a kelp bed in the north western shore of the Straits of Magellan near Punta Arenas in Patagonia, Chile. A southern South American cormorant, its distribution is restricted to both Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Patagonia.

Magellanic Cormorant © Rodrigo Tapia
Magellanic Cormorant © Rodrigo Tapia

Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk

Smelling the wind and alert to any threat, a Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk, Conepatus humboldti stands its ground in Torres del Paine National Park, Magallanes, Chile. One of the three skunks in the country, it feeds on invertebrates, rodents, lizards and bird´s chicks and eggs.

Conepatus humboldti
Patagonian Hog-nosed Skunk © Rodrigo Tapia