Torres del Paine is home to 118 types of different bird species. Wading birds, such as the Chilean Flamingo, live in the numerous lakes and lagoons across the park. There are 15 species of birds of prey, including the Andean Condor which lives high up in mountain rock cavities. South America’s largest bird, the flightless Rhea (similar to an ostrich) lives down on the Patagonian Steppe. Here are some of our favorite birds to watch for:
Black-necked Swan (Cisne de cuello negro)
Measures up to 140cm, white body, black neck and grey bill with some red. In winter migrates north to warmer climates.
Andean Condor (Cóndor Andino)
Wingspan of up to 3.2m, flies at altitudes over 4,500m at speeds of up to 56kph. Nests in high mountain rocks and circles overhead looking for carrion. Females are smaller than males, both are black and males have a red or black crest.
Lesser Horned Owl (Tucúquere)
Smaller than the Great Horned Owl, with grey and brown feathers and two ear tufts.
Lesser Rhea (Ñandú)
Flightless bird, similar to an ostrich, spreads out wings when running. Those living on the Patagonian Steppe are known as Lesser Rhea.
Black-chested Buzzard Eagle (Águila Mora)
Powerful build, long broad wings, lives at high altitudes in mountain ranges.
Chilean Flamingo (Flamenco Chileno)
Different from the two Phoenicoparrus flamingo species found in northern Chile. Has grey legs with pink knees and a largely black beak.
Austral Pygamy Owl (Chuncho)
Grey and brown body with white patches, short beak and large yellow eyes. University of Chile’s mascot.
Buff-necked Ibis (Bandurria)
Buff coloured neck, black feathers, white patch on wing and red bill & legs.
Magellanic Woodpecker (Carpintero Magellánico)
One of the world’s largest woodpeckers. Males and females both largely black & males have red crest.
Patagonian Sierra Finch (Cometocino Patagónico)
Bright yellow & grey, builds nests in thorny Calafate bushes in forest areas to protect offspring from predators.
Chilean Swallow (Golondrina Chilena)
Glossy blue and grey outer feathers with white underside and forked tail. Lives in abundance throughout Chile.
Rufous-collared Sparrow (Chincol)
Found across Latin America, from Mexico to Torres del Paine. Grey & black with red breast and white throat.
South American Snipe (Becasina)
Small wading bird, breeds in most of South America and migrates north during winter. Long straight bill, short legs & buff coloured feathers.
Upland Goose (Cauquén común)
Wild Magellanic goose. Nests near water and sleeps in lakes safe from predators. Males white, females brown.
Common Diuca Finch (Diuca)
Lives in shrubland, sometimes at high altitude. Plump grey body, white throat & white patch on its tail feathers.
Spectacled duck (Pato Anteojillo)
Dabbling duck with bronze speculum feathers. Sole member of its genus Speculanas.
Chilean Flicker (Pitio)
Dark brown and white with distinctive feather pattern and wide face. Lives in Nothofagus forests.
Yellow-billed Pintail (Pato jergón)
Brown head, long yellow bill, light brown body with darker brown outer feather. Subspecie Chilean Pintail also exists.
Red-gartered Coot (Tagua común)
Large species of coot, 55cm in length. Black with red garter separating yellow beak and yellow forehead shield.
Great Grebe (Huala)
Biggest grebe specie reaching up to 80cm in length and 2kg in weight. Red neck, grey face, black back and white underside.
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