Have your binoculars? How about your identification guides? You're definitely going to need the latter! We're going birdwatching in Southern Argentina where we will travel from the coast through the desert to the mountains and back through the desert again.
I'm asking for your help, consider it a game of sorts - can you identify any of these birds?
As we figure them out, I'll add the name of the bird and the first person to identify them correctly in the header of each photo. Let's see who the expert birders really are!
Magellenic Penguin - identified by lineatus.
If you want to learn more about these guys, check out Dawn Chorus: The Braying of Penguins.Peninsula Valdez, March 2012
White-banded Mockingbird - I got this only with help narrowing down the possibilities with tgypsy (of course, the added photo in the comments might have helped too).Peninsula Valdez, March 2012
Great Grebe - identified by matching mole.
We saw this guy in a parking lot, seemingly unable to fly. A local dog kept trying to bother him but he protected himself well with his beak and the dog finally gave up.Peninsula Valdez, March 2012Parking Lot of Campsite, Peninsula Valdez, March 2012
Chalk-browed Mockingbird - identified by tgypsyPeninsula Valdez, March 2012
White-Tailed Kite - identified by tgypsy
We have to add an addendum to this one! lineatus has been busy looking for a better answer because she just wasn't convinced. Read this thread, check out the linked photos and see if you agree with her that this is a Plumbeus Kite.Peninsula Valdez, March 2012
Royal Tern - identified by matching mole.Near Puerto Madryn, March 2012
Kelp, Dolphin or Band-tailed Gulls - I'm giving these ID's to matching mole because I don't think we'll get any better :)near Puerto Madryn, Argentina
Okay, there is more than one type of bird here... bonus points for getting all!
Rock Cormorant, Blue-eyed Cormorant, Neotropical Cormorant, Kelp Gull - identified by matching mole. I had no idea there were three kinds of cormorants in this picture. Great job, matching mole!near Puerto Madryn, March 2012
Aplomado Falcon - identified by matching mole.
near Puerto Madryn, Argentina
Cinereous Harrier - identified by tgypsy.
We saw this guy and a half dozen other raptors by the side of the road. We were driving on a coastal gravel highway when we passed a water hole in the middle of the desert scrub. We could see a couple of birds flying overhead and decided to stop. There were raptors everywhere, flying, perched on fenceposts, sitting on the gravel side of the water. It was an amazing sight.near Puerto Madryn, March 2012
With the addition of a daytime photo, matching mole decided that this bird is a Black-Faced Ibis.Gaiman, Argentina
Although matching mole came up with the first guess, I have to give this identification to tgypsy for coming up with the Latin name, Paraphysornis brasiliensis. It didn't hurt that she gave matching mole credit for Terror Bird.Museum of Paleontology, Trelew, March 2012
Chimango Caracara - identified by lineatus
These birds are ubiquitious to all of Southern Argentina and yet I could never find them in my books. I think they're so common that people assume everyone knows what they are! Thanks, lineatus!Gaiman, Argentina
Austral Parakeet - identified by matching mole.
There were a flock of these birds at our campsite and they loved the apple tree! They became our morning wake-up call and joined us, high overhead, as we hiked to local trails but I enjoyed them best in the evenings when they were fighting over the apples.Parque Nacional Los Alerces, March 2012
Ochre-faced Toddy Flycatcher - identified by matching mole.
This was one of my favorite birds the entire trip. He was so fast and light on his feet. This is the only picture I have of him that you can even tell he is a bird yet I saw him everywhere. He would just never stand still enough to have his photo taken. As soon as I had him in my sights, click, and he would be gone and I would be left with a picture of the forest.Parque Nacional Los Alerces, March 2012
Bird 16Parque Nacional Lago Puelo, April 2012
Southern Lapwing - identified by matching mole.Parque Nacional Lago Puelo, April 2012
Southern Wigeon - identified by matching mole.
I'm super thankful for this identification because the picture in my book doesn't show the brilliant green picked up by the sun shining on the back of the male's head. It shows a light dusting of green but it is hardly noticeable in the photo.Parque Nacional Lago Puelo, Argentina, April 2012
We're all agreed that this is a caracara. I think he's another juvenile Crested Caracara similar to the Bird 24 identified by lineatus down below. The fact that he's soaking wet makes it more difficult to tell.El Camino de los Siete Lagos, April 2012
American Kestrel - identified by Jim in IA.
I'm giving this one to jim in IA. He said a kestrel and as there is only one kind of kestrel in Southern South America (at least in my book), I think that is good enough!
However, I'll give bonus points to anyone who can tell me the bird's sex?
According to Tyto Alba and my guide book, this guy is a male!Parque Nacional Lanin, April 2012
Magellenic Woodpecker - identified by burnt out.
Does anyone want to guess at male or female?
According to burnt out and enydra lutris and my guide book this guy is a male!Parque Nacional Lanin, April 2012
Lesser Rhea - identified by matching mole.
And yes, it is the Lesser Rhea because of the white tips on it's feathers. We never saw a Greater Rhea. Actually, we feel lucky to have seen this one and a couple of his friends at all. We had left Buenos Aires with a few creatures on our must see list and we were told that we would see tons of these birds. It was only on the very last days, as we were driving back that we finally did see one!near Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca, April 2012
We have a conundrum - Matching Mole is identifying this as a Yellow-Headed Vulture but enhydra lutris identifies it is a Turkey Vulture. Any other input?
And the decision is... a Turkey Vulture! Sorry, matching mole, but enhydra lutris got me wondering so we blew up the picture for a better look. He's clearly pinky red. Sort of a shame really since I've seen more Turkey Vultures than I can count but I've never seen a Yellow-Headed Vulture. Maybe next time!near Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca, April 2012
A juvenile Southern Caracara also called a Crested Caracara - identified by lineatusnear Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca, April 2012
Okay, there is more than one type of bird here... bonus points for getting both!
Black-necked Swan in the foreground and coot, either white winged or red-gartered, in the back - identified by matching mole.Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca, April 2012
Hope you've enjoyed your birding trip through only a small part of Southern Argentina! Do me a favor, if you identify a bird, please use the bird number in the title of your comment. That way I can keep track of the responses better.
Chilean Flamingo - I'm giving this one to Mr. Angelajean. He and I are looking at our book and it was a debate between that and the Andean. Based on the amount of bright pink feathers, the newly added photo of knobby, pink knees, and the shape of their necks, we think they're all Chilean, though they can hang out in mixed flocks.
Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca, April 2012