Andean Huemul Deer, Hippocamelus antisensis

A female Andean Huemul Deer, Hippocamelus antisensis checks us out in the distance while feeding in the first light of day at the foothills of the Andes mountains near Putre, Arica, Northern Chile. One of the largest but least known mammals of the country, it is very rare and shy, and as such it is only occasionally seen.

Andean Huemul Deer, photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Andean Huemul Deer, photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

Puna plover, Charadrius alticola, Antofagasta, Chile

Carefully looking for any movement betraying the presence of its insect prey, a Puna Plover Charadrius alticola makes a dash run for a tiny mosquito in the seemingly barren vastness of the Atacama Salt Lake near San Pedro de Atacama in Antofagasta, Chile. The highest-living plover, it is found only in high-altitude lakes in the Andean plateau between 3000 and 5000m.

Puna Plover, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Puna Plover, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

Andean Flamingo, Phoenicoparrus andinus, Antofagasta, Chile

Extending its diagnostic yellow legs, an Andean Flamingo Phoenicoparrus andinus alights in the shallow water of a high-altitude pond in the Andes near San Pedro de Atacama in Antofagasta, Chile. The largest of South American flamingos, it is restricted, as its name implies, to salt lakes, ponds and bogs in the high plateau or Altiplano of the central Andes.

Andean Flamingo, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Andean Flamingo, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

 

Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Attagis gayi, Antofagasta, Chile

Emitting a loud contact call, a Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe Attagis gayi takes off from the boggy soil near a stream in the high Andean plateau east of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, at 4,500m above sea level. Largest of all four Seedsnipe species, it is found in arid high elevations in the Andes Mountains in South America.

Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe,  Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus, Arica, Chile

Perched on a wig and alert to any flying-by insects to catch, a male Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus gleams like a scarlet gem under the sun of the Atacama Desert coast north of Arica, Chile. One of the most visible of tyrant flycatchers, it feeds by catching insects both on the wing and on the ground.

Vermilion Flycatcher, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Vermilion Flycatcher, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

 

Groove-billed Ani, Crotophaga sulcirostris, Arica, Chile

Looking for insects flushed by cattle, a Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris wanders about in a field in Lluta Valley, Arica, Chile. The only member of the Cuckoo family in the country, it is restricted to only a few remote oasis valleys in the Atacama Desert.

Groove-billed Ani, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Groove-billed Ani, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

Ornate Tinamou, Nothoprocta ornata, Putre, Chile

Stretching its neck to peep above the bush and grass cover, an OrnateTinamou Nothoprocta ornata briefly looks for potential danger before moving on while feeding about the grassy hills north of Putre in Arica, northern Chile. A medium-sized Tinamou of pretty secretive habits, it is restricted to the pre-puna zone in the foothills of the Andes.

Ornate Tinamou, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Ornate Tinamou, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

 

 

Puna Flamingo, Phoenicoparrus jamesi, Antofagasta, Chile

Wading with parsimony while feeding on tiny brine shrimp and other plankton, a group of Puna (or James’s) Flamingo, Phoenicoparrus jamesi make the best out of the last moments of daylight in Pujsa salt lake in the Andean plateau of Antofagasta, Chile. The least, most endangered and rarest of New World flamingoes, they survive in only a handful of high-altitude salt flats in the Andes of Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina.

Puna Flamingo, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Puna Flamingo, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

Canyon Canastero, Asthenes pudibunda, Arica, Chile

Flicking its diagnostic rufous tail, a Canyon Canastero, Asthenes pudibunda briefly perches on a rock while moving across a stream in a ravine near Putre, in Arica, northern Chile. Rarest of chilean canasteros, it is found only in some canyons in the Pre-Puna, a restricted area between the arid coastal desert and the high andean plateau of the Atacama Desert.

Canyon Canastero, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Canyon Canastero, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions

Mountain Parakeet, Psilopsiagon aurifrons, Atacama Desert, Chile

Dominating over a gorge, a pair of Mountain Parakeet, Psilopsiagon aurifrons listen to the contact calls from their flock at 4,000 m above sea level in the high Andean plateau east of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. The smallest of Chilean parrots, they roam the ravines and mountain river valleys, searching for seeds, fruits and buds before retiring to their roosts at dusk.

Mountain Parakeet, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions
Mountain Parakeet, Photo © Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions