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Guide for respectful birdwatching

Ornithological tourism or birdwatching is an excellent way of getting in touch with nature and learning about the importance of its conservation. In Chile there is a great diversity of species that we can enjoy seeing just by paying attention to our surroundings. Need some advice?
November 3, 2022

Diego Salas
   

It is estimated that in Chile there are more than 500 different species of birds, of which 33 are endangered. Thanks to its great variety of ecosystems and temperatures, the avifauna of this part of the world is very diverse, which allows a simple walk through nature to become a beautiful spectacle to observe and learn from.

You can simply enjoy a walk and let yourself be surprised by birds that appear during your tour, or plan an outing with the specific goal of finding them and analyzing their behavior.

If your dream is to know more about birds and recognize the special characteristics of each species, it is best to get yourself some good binoculars and research as much as you can before going out in search of them. With that, you can start an exciting experience in the birdwatching world. The main thing is that you are patient and always alert, especially to sounds.

Ornithological tourism or birdwatching is the name given to this activity that, in recent years, has become very popular. Many people are drawn to the charm of birds and how great it is to be able to see them, hear them and, in some cases, take beautiful photos. However, it is very important that we put special emphasis on respecting and protecting their natural environments.

The tour guides at Tierra Hotels, are trained to provide guests with a complete birdwatching experience. Not only will they help you find different types of birds, they will also teach you to distinguish each species, to understand their characteristics and, of course, to conserve their habitat, observing them respectfully.

How to birdwatch in Chile?

The Birdwatch Network of Chile created a guide to inform people who are interested in this exciting activity, so that they do it carefully, without disturbing the birds and always respecting their natural environment.

  1. Bird welfare must come first. If an animal changes its behavior because of our presence, it means that we are too close. When it comes to wildlife, it is very important to respect distances, that is why it is essential to use binoculars or telephoto lenses to get a more detailed views from viewpoints or places that ensure minimal interference
  2. The habitat must be protected. In addition to not throwing garbage or destroying or altering the vegetation, when you walk, never leave the delimited path. Tread lightly, moving slowly and quietly to not disturb wildlife. Do not touch eggs or chicks by any means, even if they seem to be alone, they are most likely being cared for by their watchful parents. Do not go near nests or burrows either.
  3. Avoid altering the bird’s behavior. Some species are very sensitive, especially during breeding season. In that regard, we should not bring pets or use baits or feed them. Least of all catching them! It is also not advisable to resort to “playback” too often, that is, using applications to produce sounds that attract birds. Its use should be limited, the same with flash photos.
  4. Share your observations on collaborative platforms. Much of what is known today about avifauna is thanks to the contributions of the observer’s community who register and contribute. And there is still much left to discover… There are various options, such as eBird or the Red de Observadores network.
  5. Find out about the regulations aimed at bird conservation and support their compliance. Each country has regulations around this subject. The important thing is to make sure that we respect these regulations and support their compliance, by reporting crimes such as hunting or capture of these animals.
  6. Do not harass birds, especially accidental and rare species. Some types of birds arouse much interest. Especially those that are difficult to observe. In this situation, it is recommended to respect their space as much as possible and not alter it with our presence, avoiding making noises
  7. Respect the rights of property owners and local communities. Depending on the area in which we find ourselves, it may happen that our birdwatching goal runs into land boundaries that do not allow entry or that require prior permission. Hence the importance of planning the route.
  8. Feeders, drinkers and safe houses for birds. If you can, use plants, preferably native ones, that provide food, shelter, and nesting opportunities for different species. Each one of the hoteles Tierra has this type of gardens, making different birds come closer and allowing guests to observe them

What birds can we watch in San Pedro de Atacama?

The Atacama desert is the driest desert in the world. However, there are various species of birds that find their place in this arid landscape. For example, the Chilean Flamingo, the Andean gull, are some of the species that we can see in the highlands, where the so-called “altiplanic lagoons” are located.

If you search the plataforma eBird you will find a long list of species that you can find in this particular area. In addition, if you plan your excursion with the guides of Tierra Atacama, you will be able to prepare every detail, based on your goals and interests.

What birds can we watch in Torres del Paine?

In the Chilean Patagonia we can find numerous species of birds, which regularly inhabit this area, in the extreme south of the world. Condors, caracaras, rheas, among others, share this windy southern territory.

The plataforma eBird has a very interesting record of birds that have been recently seen. This makes it an excellent tool to prepare your search. If you need help to meet that goal, when you make your reservation at Tierra Patagonia, you can ask for support from our excursions team, who will guide you with their experience to find the best way to achieve it.

What birds can we watch in Chiloé?

Right in front of the Tierra Chiloé hotel, is the humedal de Pullao wetland, a beautiful place that concentrates enormous biodiversity, being the favorite place of a huge number of birds.

It is possible to observe black-necked swans, curlews, skimmers, herons and many more from the Hotel, with the help of binoculars or even with the naked eye. The number of species that reach this area is so large -many of them as migratory birds from different parts of the planet- that the eBird platform has marked Tierra Chiloé as a hot spot for birdwatching.

We hope that these tips for birdwatching in a respectful way will help you prepare for your next trip. At Tierra Hotels we will be happy to provide all the support you need, planning a tailor-made experience that allows you to meet your expectations and enjoy each adventure in full connection with nature. To make a reservation, contact us at info@tierrahotels.com. We look forward to seeing you!



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