Chilean Pigeon, Patagioenas araucana

Chilean PigeonPatagioenas araucana. The largest pigeon in Chile and Patagonia. Resident of temperate forested regions in southern Chile & Argentina, from the sea level to the Andean slopes. Often perches quietly in foliage, in small flocks. Feeds on a wide variety of tree fruits.

© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

Accidental visitor in the province of Magallanes, Chilean Patagonia.

This past 29th of March 2017 a solitary individual, observed by Roberto Donoso. This is the first record in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia.

© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

Hooded Grebe, Podiceps gallardoi

Recently discovered species, described in 1974 in Argentina. Endemic to south-eastern Patagonia.

Resident to uplands of western Santa Cruz, in diverse very windy pre-Andean plateaus of eastern Argentinian Patagonia.

Alone or in pairs. Occasional, scarcely recorded in Magallanes province, Chile. Nests colonially, sometimes seen in mixed flocks with several Silvery Grebe. This species breeds on a few basaltic lakes in the interior of Santa Cruz, extreme south-west Argentina. Excellent diver, curious.

Critically Endangered (CR), This species has a very small and extremely rapidly declining population within a very small range.

(Red List Category):

© Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions 2016
© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

Patagonian Tinamou, Tinamotis ingoufi

A Patagonian endemic Tinamou of large and robust body, this species has a restricted range in Patagonian steppe from the coast of the Straits of Magellan to the windy plateaus of western Argentinian Patagonia. Very rare, scarcely recorded in eastern sector of Magallanes province in Chile.

It inhabits steppe shrublands, especially with Lepidophyllum, Junellia, Berberis sp., and open wind-swept areas.

© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

Small groups and flocks up to 40 individuals in non-breeding season during the southern winter, when it shelters from the snow in small caves.  Alarm call is a characteristic whistle.

Runs rapidly, with its body in an upright position, flies only when threatened, with loud, heavy and strong wing-beats. The chicks remain in the care of the male. Shy.

© J.P. Rider
© J.P. Rider. Patagonian Tinamou, Tinamotis ingoufi
© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions
© Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions

Darwin’s Iguana, Diplolaemus darwinii

Patagonian endemic reptile that inhabits steppe shrublands.

Scarcely recorded in northeast Magallanes, Chile, more distributed in Patagonia Argentina.
It shelters among rocks and crevices of slag heaps and volcanic conglomerate.
Oviparous, insectivorous.

Diplolaemus_darwinii. pdf

© Enid Phreaner
© Enid Phreaner
© Guillermo Muñoz,
© Enid Phreaner

Arjan´s Biggest Year

On Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August we went out with Arjan Dwarshuis, a Dutch bird watcher, who is doing his “Biggest Year” birding around the world !, trying to surpass the 6,000 species, more than half of all existing species worldwide in just one year!

We observed interesting species, considering that spring has not yet begun and several species still haven’t arrived to the area.
First birded in Tres Puentes wetland and the Straits of Magellan, where we found Magellanic Horned Owl, Dolphin Gull and Southern Fulmar among others, then the next day early in the southern sector of Punta Arenas we went looking for shorebirds and waterbirds characteristic of the area such as 3 species of Oystercatcher (American, Blackish and Magellanic), 2 species of Steamer-Duck (Flying and Flightless), 4 species of Patagonian geese (Upland, Kelp, Ashy-headed and Ruddy-headed Goose), a beautiful family of Magellanic Woodpecker at San Juan river, and Austral Parakeet, among other birds of the native forests.

Then, north of Punta Arenas in the Patagonian steppe environment; Silver teal, Lesser Rhea, Two-banded Plover, and the highly sought after and Patagonian Endemics Magellanic Plover and White-bellied Seedsnipe.

We look forward to the final outcome this great global birding effort of “Biggest Year”

To follow and keep up on news from Arjan, visit:

San Juan river
San Juan river
Arjan Dwarshuis
Tres Puentes Wetland
White-bellied Seedsnipe, Attagis malouinus
White-bellied Seedsnipe, Attagis malouinus – Photos © Sebastián Saiter, Far South Expeditions.

Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus

Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus
Endemic to Patagonia. Local resident in Magallanes, Chile, more common in Argentina.
It lives in bushy Patagonian steppes, also near arid zones with scattered shrubs, reaching the coast.
Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus_SS 2
Mainly terrestrial, running rapidly with tail cocked high. Also perches on top of bushes, like Calafate. Wary, often remaining hidden in bushy cover.
Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus_SS 1
Ochetorhynchus phoenicurus_SS 3
Band-tailed Earthcreeper, photo © Sebastian Saiter, Far South Expeditions.