Giant Coot, Fulica gigantea, Altiplano, Antofagasta, Chile

Standing against the imposing Mount Licancabur in the background, a Giant Coot, Fulica gigantea stops for a moment while feeding on water plants in an Andean stream in Antofagasta, Chile. One of the two largest coots in the world, it is usually quite noisy, especially around breeding sites.

Giant Coot, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Giant Coot, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

 

Silvery Grebe, Podiceps occipitalis, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Trying hard to look bigger by fluffing its feather coat and stretching its wings, a Silvery Grebe scares away two other birds that seem too interested in the pile of aquatic vegetation that it’s been gathering to build a nest platform in a lake in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.
Easily identified in breeding season by the golden head tufts and gleaming red eyes, in winter this grebe usually moves to the sea, where it can be seen in groups in channels and bays.

Silvery Grebe, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Silvery Grebe, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

Commerson´s Dolphin, Cephalorhynchus commersonii, Tierra del Fuego, Chile

Breaching the surface, a pair of Commerson´s Dolphin, Cephalorhynchus commersonii playfully approach to bowride a ferry crossing the Straits of Magellan, near Tierra del Fuego in Chile. A strinkingly-patterned dolphin, this marine mammal is confined to southern Patagonian and Subantarctic waters, and frequents channels and shallow areas.

Commerson´s Dolphin, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Commerson´s Dolphin, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

 

Antarctic Cormorant, Phalacrocorax bransfieldensis, Antarctica

Adopting a menacing posture, an adult Antarctic Cormorant, Phalacrocorax bransfieldensis guards its nest site against any potential intruder with a loud honky warning call. The only cormorant in the white continent, it is closely related to other southern hemisphere cormorants placed together in the so-called “blue-eyed shag” species complex.

Antarctic Cormorant © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Antarctic Cormorant, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

Patagonian Mockingbird, Mimus patagonicus, Magallanes, Patagonia, Chile

Perched on a Calafate (Berberis) shrub, a male Patagonian Mockingbird, Mimus patagonicus surveys the surrounding brush listening for potential rivals as he casts his beautiful, liquid notes in the crisp spring air near Sierra Baguales, in Magallanes, Chilean Patagonia. Southernmost of mockingbirds, it is an endemic to Patagonia, found in open scrubby habitat.

Patagonian Mockingbird Mimus patagonicus, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Patagonian Mockingbird Mimus patagonicus, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions