Mike’s Monday Pics – Not So Common birds in Chile

Thanks to all who shared their BIF photos for the contest!  I’m guessing well over 100 shots were entered so Xwinger and I have our work cut out for us – results next week.

Last Monday I shared several common birds we saw in Chile; today and tomorrow I’ll share a couple special birds we managed to observe during our trip there in February.

Our Field Guides guide Marcello amazed us again and again with his ability to find birds out in the middle of nowhere.  The first time he did it we were driving from Santiago up into the Andes to a ski resort (remember, it was summer there in February).  As we went along a road that was hanging off the side of a mountain he said, “Keep and eye our for Least Horned Owls in the trees.”  Not 10 seconds later he said, “There’s one!”  We piled out of the van and sure enough was this Least Horned owl about 50 yards away from us.


As we got out of the van after reaching the ski village we looked up and got one of my target birds, an Andean Condor.  Several of them flew high overhead.  This condor is considered among the largest birds in the world (by wingspan) and the largest raptor.


We wandered down the road a bit and where a little stream tricked through a pasture.  There we saw a female White-sided Hillstar, which is a species of hummingbird.  This one didn’t act like a hummingbird, though as it foraged on the ground most of the time we were observing it.


Although we saw it several times, this first look at a spectacular Grey-hooded Sierra Finch really made an impression on me.


At the end our first day of birding in Chile we came across this Fire-eyed Duicon.  The species is part of the tyrant flycatcher family of birds.  Very well named, as you can see.


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