Birding & Photography Guide
Eduardo, or Lalo, was born in Santiago, but grew up in Punta Arenas, in Chilean Patagonia. Surrounded by wilderness, it was simply impossible for these landscapes not to awaken a curiosity for exploration in him.
He studied veterinary sciences in Santiago, where he created the first student group that brought together people with a passion for nature, remaining active until this day. At university he participated in conservations in Bolivia, the altiplano, and Chilean Patagonia, awakening in him an interest in traveling and getting to know other cultures.
Around the same time I started rock climbing, so it was natural, that once I finished my studies, I simply look my backpack and started travel and climbing around the world. Starting with Australia and New Zealand, then discovering the markets and beaches of Southeast Asia, he walked through rice plantations in China, hiked between the world’s highest peaks in the Himalayas in India and Nepal, and visited cities and parks in Europe. Always with binoculars around his neck, searching for new birds.
Lalo lived in Australia for a year and a half, and helped with migratory bird surveys around Sydney. Four years ago he joined Albatross Birding, leading tours from Chile northern border to the windy Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia.
Find out more about the guide
When did your interest in birds and wildlife begin?
My first interest in birds was in childhood, when I would hunt them. Yes, my interest in birds stemmed from my curiosity when hunting them. Having them in my hand left me amazed, deciding it was better to observe and protect them than to hunt them. In 2000 I started to bird in a more seriously and regularly, participating in waterbird population surveys, as part of the activities we organized in our university group.
Why did you decide to work as a birding and wildlife guide?
My lifestyle has always brought me together with nature. When they offered me to guide tours at Albatross Birding, it was a no-brainer. It’s a perfect job. You meet people from all over the world and share with them the passion for birding while travelling through Chile most beautiful corners.
What do you enjoy the most of guiding a tour?
Always being with people that are passionate about searching for, observing and identifying birds.
What tour would you recommend for a visit to Chile?
Our tour All of Chile, is a unique experience. Covering so many diverse landscapes, from the driest desert in the world, the valleys, mountains and coast of central Chile, and the Patagonian forest and windy Tierra del Fuego. All of this accommpanied by a tasty cuisine, the world’s best wines and a beautiful assortment of birds that will be hard to forget.
Which is your favorite species? And why?
Albatrosses. I simply fell in love with them when I lived in Australia. Here in Chile we are fortunate to have such a great diversity of species on our pelagic trips. Their biology is incredible.
Are you involved in any research or conservation projects?
Hopefully this year a bird banding proyect, led by the Red de Observadores de Aves y Vida Silvestre de Chile (ROC), should start at a wetland site in central Chile. Bird banding is something that I’m really interested in getting involved in. The data you can obtain from a bird in the hand is incredible.
What do you do when you are not guiding?
When I’m not guiding I spend my time on one of my other passions, rock climbing. When the guiding season is over, it’s time to start training for climbing projects I have with our local climbing school. It’s also the perfect time to travel with my family, take some vacations, which generally are good climbing and birding spots, of course!
What dish or drink would your recommend visitors to try?
Seafood, acommpanied with a good white wine from the Casablanca valley. If you’re a carnivore, a Patagonian lamb with a Colchagua valley red wine. If you’re vegetatrian, ‘humitas’ are a corn-based typical food, that goes well with a ‘Chilean salad’.
Why did you love pelagic so much?
I like the feeling of sailing, the sensation of being so small out in the vast ocean, surrounded by hundreds of birds. Albatrosses are also my favorite bird group, their biology is just incredible.
What are your goals as a rock climber?
Rock climbing is a very personal sport, that pushed your mental strength to another level. More than having a specific climbing goal, I simply want to continue to climb until I’m old, keep traveling and meeting interesting people.
Why did you decide to study veterinary sciences?
My relationship with animals was forged in my childhood, and I then pursued a career that would bring me closer to them. I became interested in wildlife conservation, getting involved in various projects. My university internships were working with the Huemul, Andean Condor, Guanaco, raptors and waterbirds.
What do you enjoy the most about outdoor living?
I like the feeling of being in touch with nature, enjoying the beautiful landscapes, the cold air of the mountains, the ocean breeze on a pelagic trip, and of course the sound of birds calling.
¿Wine or beer?
Red wine acommpanied by a good Patagonian ‘Asado’, but preferably an IPA after a good day of birding.