Bird watching in southern Chile: a natural and majestic experience

Like international tourists, many birds are world travelers, and with Chile’s summer in sight, both tourists and birds are flocking to the southern hemisphere for the warmer weather.

In fact, this time of year bird watching is a popular vacation activity throughout Chile, and many local tourism companies offer tours with the specific objective of sighting rare and beautiful birds in their natural habitat.

Chile’s peak bird watching season begins each year in Spring and continues until approximately January, although this is dependent in part on the migratory and nesting patterns of the country’s nearly 500 various bird species.

Southern Chile: a birdwatcher’s paradise

Visitors to southern Chile can admire numerous iconic bird species within some of the world’s most pristine and diverse wilderness landscapes. This singular locale presents a truly stimulating audio and visual bird watching experience – an experience that simply cannot be adequately recorded in photos or videos.

The very best manner for appreciating southern Chile’s busy bird communities is to quietly observe the constant activity happening amidst its trees and meadows, absorbing the peace and harmony of nature and savoring the thrill of discovering a rare bird hiding in plain sight.

Iconic birds of southern Chile

While interesting birds can be found in every locale, the following popular species are among the most highly-prized and widely-sought bird watching treasures of southern Chile:

Chile’s national bird – the Andean Condor – soars majestically among the peaks, coasts and forests of continental Chile.

Several species of Penguin call Chile home. Humboldt Penguins and Magellanic Penguins frolic on the island of Chiloé and the country’s far south near Punta Arenas.

The poet Pablo Neruda wrote about the particularly eerie and compelling sound of the Chucao, which is primarily found in Chile’s southern forests.

Birding Resources

A valuable resource for aspiring birders in Chile is the Chilean organization Red de Observadores de Aves y Vida Silvestre de Chile or ROC, which organizes interactive bird watching experiences for participants of all ages and backgrounds.

By Gretchen Stahlman, written for Chile.Travel
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