Chile is perceived by ornithologists as an excellent destination to see birds due to the large number of species that inhabit or that regularly roam the country and reaching around 500 varieties. For this reason, increasingly more fans of the bird watching - English name that referred this activity - arrive to Chile to incorporate some species to their list of watched birds.
Los Lagos, specifically, is one of the best suited regions to develop this passion, thanks to a number of areas which constitute regular habitats of various birds species, and which have been recognized by im- portant institutions of natural conservation, such as BirdLife International, agency which places national parks Alerce Andino, Vicente Perez Rosales, Chiloé and Puyehue in the category of privileged habitat for different species. T o these should be added the Maullín River and the area of Caulín, Chiloé.
Birds watching in the region extends throughout the year, what promotes the implementation of this type of tourism of special interests, aimed to those who seek to learn about different species, examine its morphological characteristics, distinguish their habits, listen to their songs and record then; all supported by notes and usual tools in this case, such as maps, excellent binoculars and cameras.
This tourist modality has literally been focused by Birds Chile, a company of ecotourism which, since 2009, offers a wide range of related bird watching tours. Following the guidelines of the program Conservation Through Traveling (CTT) - that supports communities and local initiatives in order to transform tourism on the most effective tool to promote the conservation and protection of wildlife and their habitats - this company, formed by naturalist guides expert in bird , offers authentic experiences in this field of sustainable tourism, based, mainly, on a wide knowledge of the species the nature and culture of the places in which the activity takes place.
Programs are varied and have different tours through the region. Taking advantage of the first light of the day, around Puerto Varas, in wetlands and fields that surround the city of roses, it is pos- sible to find birds such as the curlews, yellow-billed pintail, yellow-billed teal, sietecolores, run-run trile, rare, thrush, queltehues, bandurria, chirihue, among many other species. This urban sighting experience, which is carried out at dawn, is a great initiative to start the day, because duration of three hours leaves time to make the visitor to undertake other activities during the day.
Park Alerce Andino, located in the province of Llanquihue, in the communes of Puerto Montt and Cochamo, constitutes one of the habitats most suitable for the observation of birds. The Park, which is part of the Biosphere Reserve of Temperate Rain Forests of Southern Andes, offers interesting trails which facilitate the bird watching, in sessions lasting a day and allow find the cryptic tapaculos as chucao, and huet-huet, and spot the elusive colilarga, rayadito y comesebo bird.
Another ideal area for bird watching is the Isla Grande of Chiloé, especially the coast of Chacao and the Bay of Caulin - declared “bird sanctuary” - home of various species of terns, gulls, cormorants and pelagic as Petrels and terns. Exploring the coast you can see numerous migratory species, among others, Straight- billed curlew arctic beach bird, beach of baird beach birdandpitoty.Theabundantvegetation,pasturesand name only a few loicas, Pythian, thrushes, blackbirds and mandolins.. When you reach the West coast of the island there you can find the only reproductive colony, place where Humboldt and Magellanic penguins cohabit.
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The mouth of the Maullín River is one of the best places to observe the birds in the South of Chile. Almost 50 per cent of migratory birds arriving in the country during the austral summer pick this place for the season. In the wetlands of the river can be distinguished, on a good day, more than 50 species of birds associated with aquatic, grasslands and shrub environ- ments; among them: Cormorant rocks, imperial cormorant, cormorant Lile, booby, Turnstone Beach, plover double necklace, Straight-billed curlew, common Curlew, Baird’s Sandpiper, snowy plover, black and common pilpilén, South American tern, tern piquerito, dancer guy, run-run, rare, tench, choroy, cachudito, colilarga, chucao, churrín of Mocha and south, black-necked swan, coscoroba, shoveler, mallard duck and yellow-billed pintail.
Another sector which represents exce- llent conditions for bird watching is the Chepu River, to the North of the island of Chiloé towards the Pacific. In the haven of this, the Coluco lagoon emerges as one of the most conducive places in the region to observe a significant number of species, among them, an interesting variety of ducks (colorado, real, spoon, jergon and anteojillos).