Birding in Punta Arenas

Southern road, San Juan Reserve, Forest and Coastal Birding in Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is the main port in the Strait of Magellan, the city has been chosen for all the cruise companies that navigate South America. In this tour we invite you, to visit last portion of road in the american continent. We start in the city, were we can find the first Magellanic (Rock) Cormorant, Dolphin Gull, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Black-browed Albatros, and Flying and Flightless Steamer Duck.


As soon as we move south, we find several lagoons and creeks, ideal habitat for Upland Goose, Ashy-headed Goose, Black-faced Ibis and the beautiful Long-tailed Meadowlark.


A few miles ahead, we meet the first Sub-antarctic Forest (Nothofagus), were the Thorn-tailed Rayadito covers the small brunches jumping like no other, (the big problem for photographers!). Also we're looking for Magellanic Woodpecker, and Austral Parakeet.


After 60 kilometers south form Punta Arenas, we arrive at San Juan River Reserve, a protected area because its the nesting ground of one of the most scarce birds in Patagonia, the Ruddy-headed Goose, that migrates every year from southern Buenos Aires in Argentina, to the delta of this river in the coast of the Strait.  In this place its also posible to watch South American Tern, White-rumped Sandpiper and pelagic.


Many other species are common to see on the road, Dark-bellied Cinclodes, Chiloe Wigeon, Crested Duck, Southern Lapwing, and more... A flexible tour, ideal for people with a short time in the city.


Duration: 6-8 hours.


Birding the Patagonian Steppes

The advance and recede of the ice since 20.000 years ago at the last Ice Age, plus the eternal winds from de west, has given shape a steppe of contrasting beauties. Vast grasslands, that at first sight remember the most desolated and living less of the deserts, but at the next second, when you pay attention to your hearing, a whole array of singings and callings can be heard from the bushes.


Starting from Punta Arenas, we take the northern road that after 250 kms takes you to the border with Argentina, luckily birds doesn't know about borders, so many of this "argentinian" visitors can be found in this place.


Long flat steppes are perfect landscape if you are a good runner, thats the case of Darwin's (Lesser) Rhea, over 1,5 meter tall, this is symbol of the Patagonian Culture. Also a variety of lagoons can be found and its always a good place for Red Shoveler, Cinnamon Teal, Buff-winged Cinclodes and Austral Negrito.


In this trip, one of the main targets will be the rare Magellanic Plover, scarce bird with a local lagoon used as a nesting ground.

There're also a few kilometers of road by the coast, so that gives good chances to look for Magellanic Oystercatcher, Dolphin Gull, Chilean Skua, Flightless Steamer Duck and moreā€¦


At the end, when we are close enough to the border, another specific species starts to show up, this is the case of Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Twany-chested Dottorel, Austral Canastero, and Least Seedsnipe.


A flexible tour, ideal for people with a short time in the city.

Duration: 6-8 hours.


Magellanic Penguin Colony in Magdalena Island, and birding the steppes

Magdalena Island is located in the Strait of Magellan, and its the second largest breeding colony for Magellanic Penguin. We start from Punta Arenas and get on board of the speedboat to spend the morning visiting the colony and navigating the waters to look for Imperial and Magellanic Cormorant, Southern Giant Petrel and the scarce Magellanic Diving-petrel,  after our field lunch, back on mainland, we drive into the flatness of the Patagonian grasslands for the rest of the day.


We navigate in a 40 people capacity boat, for one hour to reach the Island, over 60.000 couples are nesting in this colony, which last until de last days of March, when penguins migrate up north to spend de austral winter. In the island its possible to see South American Tern, Magellanic (Rock) Cormorant, Rufous-chested Dottorel, Chilean Skua, Magellanic Oystercatchers and more.


After this morning activity, we move north-east, to visit the grassland areas, good views of Lesser (Darwin's) Rhea are expected, Upland Goose, Ashy-headed Goose, Black-faced Ibis, Andean Condor, and a variety of waterfowls, Crested Duck, Steamer Duck, Chilean Flamingos, among others.


A flexible tour, ideal for people with a short time in the city.

Duration: 6-8 hours.


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Birding in Punta Arenas


You are visiting Puna Arenas for a short time and just want to bird for 1, 2 or 3 days.


Just choose the best day trips from the following list.


If you have some particular species you absolutely want to see, just let us know and we will organise a special trip.

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