Looking back on our blogs we have informed you readers on many different things that we have seen/done in Chile. But we are yet to inform you on all of the awesome wildlife we have been seeing here! To top the list; birds, birds, and more birds. I myself am a birder and planned ahead and researched some of the different birds we could be seeing. But I was still unprepared for the abundance and variety of birds and animals that we have been seeing.
On our way to Torres del Paine National Park we stopped at a cool cave named Milodon cave. Milodon Cave was discovered in 1895 by a german explorer, the cave was discovered to have hosted a large sloth-like bear millions of years ago. On the way to the cave we saw an owl perched in a small cave, waiting to be photographed. Checking my bird guide I saw that it was a lesser horned owl! It was surprising to see an owl in broad daylight and was a great opportunity to get a good look at this large, nocturnal predatory raptor.
After the cave we continued to drive towards Torres del Paine National Park and started to see herds and herds of sheep. Also every once in a while we would see a Guanaco. A Guanaco is a large, llama like, animal that stands between 3-5 feet. Their color was a light brown. I have to say in preparation for this trip I really wouldn’t have guessed I would be seeing anything like these animals.
Every once in a while we would also see Lesser Rheas which are also called, ñandú. The ñandú resembled ostriches but were slightly smaller. Driving by the ñandú and Guanacos I felt like we were on some sort of safari! Arriving in Torres del Paine National Park I really began to see a large variety of birds. Andean condors circled above, and canquen geese waddled around. The cool thing about birds is because of their great variety pretty much every bird I saw was completely new to me. From tiny sparrows to the Lesser Rheas everywhere you looked there was a unique bird to see!
A couple days later we took a boat to Isla Magdalena, about 2 hours from Punta Arenas. We had one goal in mind: see penguins. Arriving at the island we could see little birds in the distance waddling around! We were able to get within 3 feet with the little guys! The penguins were
Magallenic Penguins and there were almost 69,000 breeding pairs on the island. It was crazy cool to see these fascinating birds up close.
Looking back on the pictures I took its hard to believe some of the things we saw. Crested Caracaras circling in the sky, parakeets flying from tree to tree, flamingos wading in shallow ponds, penguins waddling- it all seems like a dream. Here is a collage I made with my pictures.