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Albatrosses & Other Seabirds
in Chile
during focus on nature tours

With photos courtesy of  tour participants and others.
Our thanks to those who have contributed!

There have been Focus On Nature Birding Tours in Chile,
with pelagic trips since 1990.


A Summary of our Valparaiso Sea-Trip in November 2005

A list of seabirds during our CHILE tour in November 2003 

our chile sea-trips during the El Nino year of 1997




A Listing of Seabirds in Chilean waters

compiled by Armas Hill


In the Humboldt Current:
V: off Valparaiso, central Chile
A: off Arica, northern Chile

M: in Magellanic waters of 
     southern Chile (including 
     the Strait of Magellan)

(t): a globally threatened, or rare, species as designated by Birdlife International
        (t1): critical 
        (t2): endangered 
        (t3): vulnerable
(nt): a near-threatened species globally
(nt-dd): possibly a near-threatened species, but data deficient

CHr:  rare in Chile

In the UPPER RIGHT PHOTO: Participants during a pelagic trip out of Valparaiso, as part of a FONT Chile Tour, looking one way as a Black-browed Albatross is on the water to their right.
2 boats were used during that trip. The photo was taken on the other boat.  

  1. Northern Royal Albatross (t2) ______ (V) (a recent "split", as is the Southern Royal Albatross from the former Royal Albatross)
    Diomedea sanfordi

    The Northern Royal Albatross breeds on the Chatham and Auckland Islands off New Zealand, on the South Island of New Zealand. Nearly all of the total population (99%) is on the Chatham Islands, where there are from 6,500 to 7,000 pairs. Thus, this species, classified as Endangered, is restricted to a tiny breeding range, and the current decline equates to a rapid population reduction of at least 55% in 60 years (3 generations).

  2. Southern Royal Albatross (t3) ______ (V) (a recent "split", as is the Northern Royal Albatross from the former Royal Albatross
    Diomedea epomophora 

    The Southern Royal Albatross breeds on Campbell and Auckland Islands off New Zealand. Global population about 28,000 individuals. Main threat is offshore long-line fishing activity.

    A Southern Royal Albatross photographed during a FONT tour.
    Seen during the pelagic trip off Valparaiso, Chile. 

  3. Black-browed Albatross (or Mollymawk(t2) ______ (V,A,M)
    (has been Diomedea) melanophrys 

    Nearly 75% of the world population of Black-browed Albatross breed on the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. Also nests on South Georgia Island and on outer islands of southern Chile: Diego Raimirez, Idlefonso, Evout and Diego de Almagro.
    Classified as Endangered, as the species has undergone a population decline due at least in part to long-line fisheries. 

    Black-browed Albatross
    (or Mollymawk)
    (photos by Alan Brady & Björn Johansson)

  4. Buller's Albatross (or Mollymawk) (t3) ______ (V)
    (has been Diomedea) bulleri 

    The Buller's Albatross breeds only on sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand. Visits Chilean offshore waters, more so in the south, but some further north in the Humboldt Current. Classified as Vulnerable, with a global population of about 58,000 individuals. Long-line fisheries are the main threat to the species.

    Buller's Albatross (or Mollymawk)

  5. Salvin's Albatross (or Mollymawk (t3) ______ (V)
    Thalassarche salvini
    (has been Diomedea cauta salvini

    The Salvin's Albatross breeds on Snares and Bounty Islands of New Zealand. Also a small breeding population in the South Indian Ocean. Classified as Vulnerable, with an estimated global population of about 63,000 individuals. Long-line fisheries are the main threat to the species. 

    Salvin's Albatross (or Mollymawk)

  6. Shy Albatross (or Mollymawk) (nt) ______ (V)
    Thalassarche cauta
    (has been Diomedea c.  cauta(The other subspecies, T. c. steadi, has been known as the White-capped Albatross. 

    The Shy Albatross breeds both off Tasmania and at Auckland Island south of New Zealand. 
    Classified as Near-threatened. 

    Shy Albatross (or Mollymawk)

  7. Chatham Islands Albatross (or Mollymawk) (t1) (CHr) ______ (V) (2 or more of this rare species were seen during the pelagic trip from Valparaiso during the FONT Chile tour in 1997.)
    Thalassarche eremita
    (has been Diomedea cauta eremita)

    The Chatham Island Albatross breeds only on Pyramid Rock in the Chatham Islands, west of New Zealand. Classified as Critically Endangered, with an estimated global population of about 10,000 individuals. Threats relate to the very restricted nesting area, severe storms, and mortality due to long-line fishing.  

  8. Gray-headed Albatross (or Mollymawk) (t3) ______ (V)
    (has been Diomedea) chrysostoma 

    About half of the world population of the Gray-headed Albatross breeds on South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic, but also nests on outer islands of southern Chile: Diego Ramirez and Idlefonso. Disperses in the South Atlantic north to 35 degrees S and in the Pacific, in the Humboldt Current, north to 15 degrees S off Peru.
    Classified as Vulnerable, with a declining global population estimated at about 250,000 individuals. There is believed to have been a 20% decrease over the last 60 years (3 generations). A high mortality-rate is associated with long-line fishing.

    A sub-adult Gray-Headed Albatross, with Pink-footed Shearwater 
    & Wilson's Storm-Petrel off Valparaiso
    (photo by Harold Lebo)

    Two albatrosses together off Valparaiso: Black-browed
    & Gray-headed
    (right). (photo by Harold Lebo)

  9. Waved Albatross (t1) (CHr) ______ (A) (15 birds were seen during the FONT pelagic trip from Arica in the El Nino year of 1997.) (has also been called the Galapagos Albatross)
    (has been Diomedea) irrorata 

    The Waved Albatross normally does not occur in Chilean offshore waters. Breeds exclusively in Ecuador, on one island in the Galapagos (Espanola or Hood), and a very limited number on one offshore Ecuadorian island (Isla de la Plata). Classified as Critically Endangered, with about 15,000 pairs on Espanola and only 10 to 20 pairs on Isla de la Plata.  

    A Waved (or Galapagos) Albatross lifting up from the water
    This species, that we saw off Arica in the "El Nino" year of 1997, has not normally been recorded in Chilean waters. 

  10. Southern Giant Petrel (t3) ______ (V,M)
    Macronectes giganteus

    The Southern Giant Petrel is a circumpolar Antarctic and sub-Antarctic species. Some breed in the southern Chile on exposed offshore islands in the areas of Tierra del Fuego, and Noir and Diego Ramirez islands. Common visitor to Chilean offshore waters, dispersing north in the Humboldt Current. The white phase very scarce in Chilean waters. Classified as Vulnerable, with a declining population of 62,000 individuals. Has a high mortality-rate due to long-line fishing.   

    Two Southern Giant Petrels
     (or Giant Fulmars), with a Southern Fulmar, 
    (photo by Alan Brady) 

    As large as an albatross, it was the Giant-Petrel in the "Ancient Mariner". 

  11. Northern Giant Petrel (nt) ______ (V)
    Macronectes halli

    A circumpolar sub-Antarctic species. The most significant breeding colony is on South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic. Occasionally in coastal waters of eastern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Some disperse northward in the Humboldt current. Classified as Near-threatened. Global population has decreased due to long-line fishing activity.

    (or Hall's) Giant-Petrel  
    (photographed off Valparaiso by Björn Johansson)

  12. Southern Fulmar ______ (V.A,M)
    Fulmarus glacialoides 

    Nests on Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, and all the islands of the Scotia Arc. Disperses northward in the Humboldt Current. Also in waters near Tierra del Fuego. 

  13. Cape Petrel (or Pintado) ______ (V,A)
    Daption c. capense  

    A circumpolar Antarctic and sub-Antarctic species that nests on the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland, South Orkney, South Sandwich, and South Georgia Islands. Disperses northward in the Humboldt Current.  

    Cape Petrel
    (also called the "Pintado")
    (photo by Alan Brady)

  14. Juan Fernandez Petrel (t3) ______ (V)  (was considered conspecific with the White-necked Petrel of Kermadec Island north of New Zealand)
    Pterodroma externa

    A Chilean breeding endemic. The only nesting colonies for this species are in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago (on Alejandro Selkirk and Robinson Crusoe Islands) in the Pacific off mainland Chile. After breeding season, disperses north in the Pacific into the Northern Hemisphere, reaching offshore waters of the Galapagos, Hawaii, and western Mexico. Classified as Vulnerable, with an estimated population of about 2 million birds, in a very restricted breeding area.         

  15. DeFilippi's (or Mas a Tierra) Petrel (t3) ______ (V) (was considered conspecific with the Cook's Petrel)
    Pterodroma defilippiana  

    A Pterodroma Petrel smaller than the Juan Fernandez Petrel, but with a rather similar plumage, distribution, and status. Breeds on the Des Venturadas Islands (off Chile) of  San Ambrosio (10,000 birds in 1970), San Felix (200 pairs in 1970), and on the Juan Fernandez Islands on Robinson Crusoe (Mas a Tierra) where there are now very few if any (the population there reduced by introduced cats and coatis) and on Santa Clara, there were "hundreds of thousands in 1986", but 100-200 in 1991 (reduced by rats). Classified as Vulnerable. Absent from breeding grounds March-June when it disperses north to off Peru, almost to the Galapagos.   

    (or Mas a Tierra) Petrel   
    (photo by Alan Brady)

  16. Slender-billed Prion ______ (V)
    Pachyptila belcheri

    A sub-Antarctic resident. Nests in large numbers at Noir Island in the Magallanes region of southern Chile. Disperses in Chilean offshore waters in the Humboldt Current as far north as Antofagasta, sometimes further.

  17. White-chinned Petrel  (called the "Shoemaker") (t3) ______ (V,A,M)
    Procellaria aequinoctialis 

    A circumpolar sub-Antarctic species. In Chile, in Fuegian channels, and northward in the Humboldt Current. Classified as Vulnerable. The total population has been estimated at 5 million individuals, but has been rapidly declining, due to long-line fishing activity.

  18. Westland Petrel (nt) ______ (V)
    Procellaria westlandica

    Breeds during the austral winter on the South Island of New Zealand. Now realized to be a regular but uncommon visitor during the austral summer to the Humboldt Current (north of Aysen, Chile). Juvenile birds apparently remain in Chilean waters throughout the year. Birds visiting Chilean waters in the austral spring and early summer may have some molting, with whitish areas on the wing-coverts. Classified as Near-threatened, with a relatively stable population of less than 20,000 individuals. There is mortality associated with long-line fishing activity.   

  19. Gray Petrel (called the "Pediunker") (nt) ______ (V)
    Procellaria cinerea

    A circumpolar sub-Antarctic species. Occasionally (sometimes in flocks) northward in the Humboldt Current. Its nearest breeding colonies are in the South Atlantic (in Tristan da Cunha and Gough Islands). Classified as Near-threatened. Population has decreased due to mortality associated with long-line fishing.    

  20. Pink-footed Shearwater (t3) ______ (V,A)
    Puffinus creatopus 

    Occurs during the austral summer in Chilean offshore waters from Chiloe Island north along the Humboldt Current. The only known breeding colonies for the species are in Chile on Mocha Island and in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. After the breeding season, disperses north along the west coast of North America as far as Alaska. Classified as Vulnerable. An estimated maximum population of 60,000 individuals. A primary threat would be the introduction of alien fauna to the islands where the species breeds.  


    Pink-footed Shearwater 
    (photo by Harold Lebo)     

  21. Sooty Shearwater ______ (V,A)
    Puffinus griseus

    Common austral summer resident to offshore Chilean waters. Breeds in large numbers September-May in far-southern Chile in the Diego Ramirez Islands and the Wollaston Archipelago (Cape Horn) and also Magellanes, Guamblin (Aysen), and Guafo Islands, and Chiloe. After the breeding season, disperses northward to the coastal waters of the North Pacific. Highly gregarious, congregating in huge and extensive flocks. During migration, in flocks of up to hundreds of thousands of birds.    

  22. Subantarctic Little Shearwater ______ (V)  (A recent split from the formerly widespread Little Shearwater, P, assimilis, now limited to waters near Australia)
    Puffinus elegans   

    In the western South Pacific, breeds on the Antipode Islands. In the South Atlantic, breeding sites are on Tristan da Cunha and Gough Islands. Occasionally seen off Chile.

  23. a "Manx-type" (probably Townsend's) Shearwater (t1) ______ (A) (seen during the pelagic trip off Arica as part of the FONT Chile tour in the El Nino year of 1997)  
    Puffinus auricularis 

    Occurs only in the eastern Pacific. Breeds on 3 islands west of Mexico (the Las Islas Revilla group). Pelagic dispersal thought to be south, normally, to just north of the Galapagos Islands. Classified as Critically Threatened. 

  24. Wilson's Storm Petrel ______ (V,A)
    Oceanites oceanicus chilensis

    The subspecies just noted occurs in Chilean offshore waters from Cape Horn north to Arica. Oceanites oceanicus exasperatus breeds in Chilean Antarctica. 

  25. White-vented (or Elliot's) Storm Petrel (nt-dd) ______ (A)
    Oceanites gracilis

    Occurs in the Humboldt Current. Breeding grounds virtually unknown. A nest found in Chile on Chungungo Island near La Serena, about 30 degrees S. 

  26. White-bellied Storm Petrel ______ (V)
    Fregetta grallaria

    Breeds in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago and San Felix and San Ambrosio Islands off the Chilean mainland.  

  27. Black-bellied Storm Petrel ______ (V)
    Fregatta tropica

    A circumpolar Antarctic & sub-Antarctic breeder that disperses in the Humboldt Current along the entire Chilean coast. 

  28. Markham's (or Sooty) Storm Petrel (nt-dd) ______ (A)  (endemic to the Humboldt Current)
    Oceanodroma markhami 

    Ranges pelagically offshore in northern Chile. Also off Peru. The nesting grounds of this large storm-petrel are not well known. A nesting site has only recently been found at Paracas, Peru. Some birds stay off Peru all year, but dispersal in the Humboldt Current between 15 degrees N and 26 degrees S.

  29. Peruvian Diving Petrel (t2) ______ (V,A)  (endemic to the Humboldt Current)
    Pelecanoides garnotii

    Occurs in oceanic waters off Chile south to Corral (Los Lagos). Most common from Bio-Bio north. Classified as Endangered. The decreasing population is between 25,000 and 28,000. 

  30. Magellanic Diving Petrel ______ (M)  (endemic to Patagonian Waters)
    Pelecanoides magellani 

    Common in Chilean waters from Chiloe Island south to the Wollaston Archiperlago (Cape Horn). Nests on islands and archipelagos in the southern portion of its range.

  31. Common (or Coppinger's) Diving Petrel ______ (M)
    Pelecanoides urinatrix copperingeri

    A resident from the Chacao Channel (by Chiloe Island) south to the Diego Ramirez Islands (Magellanes) where it nests. Other subspecies reside in the Falklands and South Georgia Island. Seen alone or in loose groups. 

  32. Humboldt Penguin (t3) ______ (V,A)  (endemic to Humboldt Current)
    Spheniscus humboldti 

    Classified as Vulnerable, with a maximum population of 12,000 individuals. Threats include pollution, disturbance, and over-fishing of anchovies.  

    Humboldt Penguins along the far-northern Chilean coast.

  33. Magellanic Penguin (nt) ______ (V,M) 
    Spheniscus magellanicus

    Classified as Near-threatened, with a global population estimated at about 1,300,000 pairs, including 200,000 that breed in Chile. Threats are pollution, such as oil spills, and exploitative fishing. 

    Magellanic Penguin at breeding colony in southern Chile.

  34. Peruvian (or Chilean) Pelican ______ (V,A)  (endemic to Humboldt Current)
    Pelecanus thagus 

    Along the Chilean coast from Arica south to Chiloe Island.

  35. Peruvian Booby ______ (V,A)  (endemic to Humboldt Current)
    Sula variegata

    Along the Chilean coast from Arica south to Chiloe Island.

  36. Blue-footed Booby ______ (A) (1 in 2003)  (rare in Chile)
    Sula nebouxii

    A casual visitor in far-northern Chile. Normally ranges along the Pacific Coast from Mexico to Peru.

  37. Brown Booby ______ (A) (1 sub-adult in 2003)  (rare in Chile)
    Sula leucogaster 

    A casual visitor in northern Chile, south to Antofagasta. Widespread along the Pacific Coast north of Chile. 

  38. South Polar Skua ______ (A)  (was at one time not considered distinct from the Great Skua of the Northern Hemisphere)
    Catharacta maccormicki (Catharacta merged, by some, into Stercorarius)

    A breeding resident along the coast and in the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and in the South Shetland and South Orkney Islands. Adults remain in Antarctic waters, at the edge of the pack-ice, throughout the year.Juveniles and immature birds are long-distance migrants, dispersing northward in the Pacific to Japan and the west coast of North America during the austral winter. A frequent visitor to the Humboldt Current.     

  39. Chilean Skua ______ (V,M) (was at one time not considered distinct from the Great Skua of the Northern Hemisphere)
    Catharacta chilensis (Catharacta merged, by some, into Stercorarius)

    A common resident in Chile along the Patagonian coasts of Magellanes. During the austral winter, disperses north along the Chilean coast, and into Peruvian offshore waters.

    Chilean Skua 
    (3 photos)

    (photos by BJ Rose, Björn Johansson, and Alan Brady) 

  40. Antarctic (or Brown) Skua ______ (M)   (considered distinct from the Great Skua of the Northern Hemisphere & the 2 other skua species in the Soiuthern Hemishpere)
    Catharacta antarctica lonnbergi (Catharacta merged, by some, into Stercorarius)

    A common circumpolar Antarctic resident. Nests on South Georgia, South Sandwich, South Orkney, and South Shetland Islands. Also nests on Elephant Island and on the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Recorded as a non-breeding visitor as far south as 67 degrees S (Adelaide Island). During the austral winter, part of the population disperses north in the Pacific, along the Chilean coast, as far north as 30 to 25 degrees S.  

  41. Pomarine Jaeger (or Pomarine Skua) ______ (A)  
    Stercorarius pomarinus

    Breeds in the Arctic. An uncommon visitor from North America to Chilean offshore waters.   

  42. Parasitic Jaeger (or Arctic Skua) ______ (V,A)
    Stercorarius parasiticus

    Breeds in the Arctic. A common visitor to Chilean coastal waters.

  43. Long-tailed Jaeger (or Long-tailed Skua) ______ (A) 
    Stercorarius longicaudus 

    Breeds in the Arctic. An uncommon visitor to Chilean offshore waters. Outside the breeding season, a pelagic species favoring cold and deep waters.

  44. Dolphin (or Magellan) Gull ______ (M)  (endemic to Patagonia & the Falklands/Malvinas)
    Larus scoresbii

    In Chile, occurs from Los Lagos and Chiloe Island south to the Wollaston Archipelago (Cape Horn) and the Diego Ramirez Islands. During the austral winter, disperses north to Mocha Island (Bio-Bio). 

    Dolphin Gull

  45. Gray Gull ______ (V,A)  (endemic to coastal waters of the Humboldt Current)
    Larus modesus

    Nests in the desert in northern Chile and southwestern Peru. Disperses north to Ecuador and south in Chile as far as Chiloe Island.  

  46. Belcher's Gull (formerly called Band-tailed Gull when conspecific with Olrog's Gull of the Atlantic coast of southeastern South America ______ (A)  (endemic to the coast along the Humboldt Current)
    Larus belcheri 

    Occurs along the desert coast of north Chile and Peru.

  47. Kelp Gull (called Dominican Gull in Australia, New Zealand, & South Africa) ______ (V,A,M)
    Larus dominicanus

    A circumpolar resident on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands in the southern Pacific, South Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Also along the coasts of South Africa, southern Australia, and New Zealand. In South America, ranges along the Pacific as far north as Ecuador, and along the Atlantic north to southern Brazil. On the Antarctic Peninsula, ranges south to 68 degrees S.

  48. Franklin's Gull ______ (V,A)
    Larus pipixcan

    During the northern summer, nests in North America, in inland portions of the United States and southern Canada. Outside its breeding season, a common to very common visitor to Chilean offshore oceanic waters. Usually in flocks, it has been during FONT tours off western South America in November, occurring with albatrosses and other pelagic species of the Southern Hemisphere.  

    Franklin's Gull

    (photo by Harold Lebo)

  49. Laughing Gull ______ (A) (1 in 1997, & 1 in 2003) 
    Larus atricilla

    Only a very few occur as south as far-northern Chile.

  50. Sabine's Gull ______ (V,A)
    Xema sabini

    Breeds in the Arctic. Occurs during the austral summer in Chilean offshore waters, as a pelagic species.   

  51. Swallow-tailed Gull ______ (A)
    Creagrus furcatus

    Occurs offshore from northern Chile. Breeds in the Galapagos Islands.

  52. Elegant Tern ______ (V,A)
    Sterna elegans

    Breeds along the Pacific Coast of California USA and Mexico. During the austral summer, occurs along the west coast of South America. In Chile, as far south as Chiloe Island. 

  53. Sandwich Tern ______ (A) (1 in 2003)  (rare in Chile)
    Sterna sandvicensis acuflavidus

    A very occasional visitor along the Chilean Pacific Coast, with records as far south as central Chile. 

  54. South American Tern ______ (V,A)
    Sterna hirundinacea

    A common to very common resident along the Chilean coast. The species ranges north along the Pacific to Peru.

  55. Common Tern ______ (V,A)
    Sterna hirundo hirundo

    An uncommon visitor from North America, during the austral summer, along the Pacific coast and in offshore Chilean waters, occurring south to the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego.)

  56. Arctic Tern ______ (V)
    Sterna paradisea

    An uncommon visitor from the Northern Hemisphere, during the austral summer, south to the southern tip of South America and beyond. In waters surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula, it occurs as far south as 68 degrees S. Every year, this species makes one of the most spectacular long-distance migrations of any bird in the world.  

  57. Inca Tern ______ (V,A)  (endemic to the Humboldt Current)
    Larosterna inca

    Nests along the desert coast of northern Chile and Peru. Ranges north to Ecuador. In Chile, from Arica south to Corral (Los Lagos). Gregarious.

    Inca Tern

  58. Red (or Grey) Phalarope ______ (V,A)
    Phalaropus fulicaria

    Breeds in the Arctic. An offshore visitor, during the austral summer, commonly in Chilean waters south to the latitude of Chiloe Island. Occasionally further south. Outside its nesting season, a pelagic species. 

  59. Red-necked Phalarope ______ (V,A)
    Phalaropus lobatus 

    Breeds in the Arctic. An offshore visitor from September to April, uncommonly in Chilean waters south to the latitude of Los Lagos. Occasionally further south. Most common off northern Chile. Outside its breeding season, essentially pelagic.


    Other Maritime Species along Chilean Coasts & Waterways

  60. Neotropic Cormorant (has been called Olivaceous Cormorant) ______ (V,A)
    Phalacrocorax brasilianus brasilianus
    (in most of Chile)
    Phalacrocorax brasilianus hornenis
    (in far-southern Chile)

    Occurs in a number of coastal and inland aquatic habitats.

  61. Rock Cormorant (or Rock Shag) (has also been called Magellan Shag) ______ (M) (endemic to Patagonia)
    Phalacrocorax magellanicus

    Resident from Corral (Los Lagos) south to the Diego Ramirez Islands. Most common in the southern portion of its range. During the austral autumn, occasionally north along the Pacific to Valparaiso. 

    Rock Cormorant

  62. Guanay Cormorant (or Guanay Shag) ______ (or Guanay Shag) ______ (V,A)
    Phalacrocorax bougainvillii

    Along the Pacific Coast, common in northern Chile and Peru. In Chile, occurs south to Mocha Island (Bio-Bio), occasionally south to Corral (Los Lagos). Associates with other seabirds in the presence of fish shoals in the Humboldt Current.  

  63. Imperial Shag ______ (M)  (endemic to Patagonia)  
    Phalacrocorax (atriceps) atriceps
    (this and the
    King Shag (or King Cormorant) have been considered conspecific)

    Resident in Chile from Santa Maria Island (Bio-Bio) south to the Diego Ramirez Islands (Magallanes). More common in the southern portion of its range. Mainly in waters influenced by the Pacific Ocean, but some do occur in eastern Tierra del Fuego and by the Atlantic. 

  64. King Shag (or King Cormorant) ______ (M)  (endemic to Patagonia & the Falklands/Malvinas)
    Phalacrocorax (atriceps) albiven
    ter (this and the Imperial Shag have been considered conspecific)

    Partly migratory resident from the Strait of Magellan south to the Wollaston Archipelago (Cape Horn). Mainly in waters influenced by the South Atlantic Ocean. During the austral winter, migrates north along the Argentine coast. 

  65. Red-legged Cormorant (or Red-legged Shag) (nt) ______ (V,A)
    Phalacrocorax gaimardi

    A somewhat common resident along the Pacific coast from Peru south in Chile to Corral (Los Lagos). Scarce south of there. Classified as Near-threatened, with an estimated population between 10,000 and 25,000 individuals.   

  66. Black-crowned Night-Heron ______ (A,V,M)
    Nycticorax nycticorax hoactli
    (at Arica)
    Nycticorax nycticorax obscurus
    (a darker form in areas of Valparaiso and the Strait of Magellan) 

  67. Kelp Goose ______ (M)  (endemic to Patagonia & the Falklands/Malvinas)
    Choephaga hybrida hybrida

    Along Chilean coasts from Chiloe Island south to Tierra del Fuego, the Wollaston Archipelago (Cape Horn) and the Diego Ramirez Islands. Generally in territorial pairs in the summer, and in small loose flocks in the winter.

    A female Kelp Goose

  68. Flightless Steamer-Duck ______ (M)  (endemic to western Patagonian coasts and Tierra del Fuego)
    Tachyeres pteneres

    Strictly coastal species of the Pacific. Locally common resident from Corral (Los Lagos) and Chiloe Island south to the southern Tierra del Fuego and the Wollaston Archipelago (Cape Horn) More common in the southern portion of its range. Generally in pairs or family groups during the breeding season. Occurs in flocks of up to several hundred during the austral winter. Moves or "steams" across the water surface by paddle-like wing-beats for propulsion, supported also by its legs. The bird is unable to fly.  

  69. American Oystercatcher ______ (V,A)
    Haematopus palliatus pitanay

    Locally common summer resident along the Chilean coast south to Chiloe Island.

    Haematopus palliatus durnfordi

    Occurs along the South Atlantic coast, but ranges, during the austral summer, into Chile in Magallanes and along the coast of Tierra del Fuego.)

  70. Blackish Oystercatcher ______ (A)
    Haematopus ater

    Along Chilean coasts from Peru south to Tierra del Fuego and the Wollaston Archipelago (Cape Horn).

  71. Magellanic (or Fuegian) Oystercatcher ______ (M) (endemic to Patagonia) 
    Haematopus leucopodus 

    In Chile, south from Chiloe Island to Tierra del Fuego and the Wollaston Archipelago (Cape Horn). Occurs both coastally and in assorted inland habitats.

  72. Snowy (or American) Sheathbill ______ (M)
    Chionis alba

    Locally common resident, in the austral summer, on the Antarctic Peninsula, on all the islands of the Scotia Arc, and on islands in the South Atlantic. During the austral winter, migrates north in Chile along the coast to Los Lagos. Some non-breeding adults remain throughout the year on eastern Patagonian coasts, on Tierra del Fuego, and in the Diego Ramirez Islands. Alone or in small loose flocks. A scavenger.      

  73. Chilean Seaside-Cinclodes ______ (V)  (endemic to Chile)
    Cinclodes nigrofumosus

    From Arica south to Valdivia along rocky marine coasts. Some other furnariids occur along fresh water. Most live on land. This one by the sea.


A Summary of the FONT Valparaiso Pelagic Trip 
in November 2005

An account written by tour leader, Armas Hill

FONT conducted, on November 14, 2005, its 16th Pelagic Trip from Valparaiso, in conjunction with its annual Chile Birding Tour. During most years, since 1991, this trip has been in November.

Over the years, many seabirds have been seen during this Valparaiso pelagic trip. Some years, the number of birds has been quite high, when there have been thousands of Sooty Shearwaters and thousands of phalaropes. This year, that was not the case, as the number of Sooty Shearwaters was small, and no phalaropes were seen. Some years, the waters of the Humboldt Current off Chile have been filled with seabirds that reside there exclusively. Species in that category include Guanay Cormorant and Peruvian Boobies. This year, numbers of both of those species seemed to be lower than usual.

The ocean off the Chilean coast can have not just high numbers of birds, but also a good variety of species. During our trip in 2005, there was an excellent variety, even though, as noted, some of the numbers, that given day, were down.

Seabirds come to that area of the Pacific Ocean, off Chile, from various places far away. Some of the Albatrosses (including the Salvin's and the Buller's) come from New Zealand, on the opposite side of the Southern Pacific. Other birds also come from there, including the rare Westland Petrel.

During our tour this year, the bird that was the highlight of our Chile Valparaiso pelagic came from New Zealand, where the species breeds. It was the Northern Royal Albatross. We've previously seen the Southern Royal Albatross during our trips over the years (at least once, maybe twice), but this was the first time for the Northern. What an exciting bird our Northern Royal Albatross was to see. It's big, very big. Its wingspan is as much as  138 inches. That's 10-feet, 6-inches, meaning that each wing is as much as 5-feet, 3-inches, the height of many people.

We saw the Northern Royal Albatross well, with those long wings in flight, and also as it was resting near us on the water. When the bird would take off from the water to fly, each time we watched its feet patter along the surface for 2 or 3 seconds, before the bird would become airborne. Our Northern Royal Albatross on Nov. 14, '05 was an immature bird.

When it was resting on the water near us, next to the Salvin's Albatross, the Northern Royal dwarfed that species, which is no small bird itself. The wingspan of the Salvin's Albatross is as much as 98-inches, or about 8-feet, or 4-feet per wing. We saw a few Salvin's Albatrosses, during our trip. And, there was yet another Southern Albatross, the Black-Browed.

During our Chile Pelagic Trips, since 1990, we've seen 9 species of Albatrosses:
Northern Royal
Southern Royal
(or White-capped)
and Waved.

Other seabirds during our Nov. 14, 2005 pelagic, from Valparaiso, Chile were:
the Westland Black Petrel (as noted, from New Zealand), the White-chinned, and Cape Petrels (the latter known as the Pintado), the DeFilippi's Petrel (a pterodroma very similar to the Cook's Petrel), the Southern Giant-Petrel (one followed us nearly all the way back to shore), the Southern Fulmar, the Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters, the Humboldt Penguin, Peruvian Booby and Peruvian Pelican, Guanay and Red-legged Cormorants.

Gulls included the Kelp, and this year many Franklin's Gulls. It's interesting how Franklin's Gulls can be on the ocean off the Chilean coast, revising their life-style in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, of course, they breed far from the sea, in the interior of the United States and Canada. A Sabine's Gull was also with the seabirds around our boat off the Chilean coast, where we also saw an astonishing 6 species of Terns Common, Arctic, South American, Trudeau's, Elegant, and Inca.
It was a good day at sea.

Birds during FONT Chilean pelagic trips
in November 2003

An account written by tour leader, Armas Hill

2003 was a good year for us pelagically off the coast of Chile. While for some species numbers were not as high as they have been on occasion in the past, virtually all of the good variety of species this year were seen well. Off Valparaiso, out a little further and longer than other times, we enjoyed, with the sun behind us, good looks at the oceanic birds, including the albatrosses, close to the boat. The "chumming" brought the birds in. Some, such as Pink-footed Shearwaters, could nearly be touched at the edge of the boat. The oceanic waters off Arica were filled with fish (along with sea-lions and birds). So the "chumming" there was rather ineffective. One of the highlights of that trip was when a  Peruvian Diving-Petrel, on the water by our boat, moved in closer & closer as it seemed to be observing us!
In the following list of oceanic birds seen during our two pelagic trips, the red number relates to what was seen off Valparaiso (v), the blue number off Arica (a).

Humboldt Penguin  v:8, a:6
Black-browed Albatross/Mollymawk  v:15
Buller's Albatross/Mollymawk  v:1 or 2
Salvin's Albatross/Mollymawk  v:25, a:1
Gray-headed Albatross/Mollymawk  a: 1
Southern (or Antarctic) Giant-Petrel  v:5
Southern (or Silver-grey) Fulmar  v:1
Cape Petrel (or Pintado)  v:8
Juan Fernandez Petrel  v: 1 (possibly more)
DeFilippi's (or MasAtierra) Petrel  v:10
Thin-/Slender-billed Prion  v:3 
White-chinned Petrel  v:35, a:8
Westland (Black-) Petrel  v:4
Pink-footed Shearwater  v:30, a:4
Sooty Shearwaters  v:200, a:30
Wilson's Storm-Petrel  v:30, a:10 (possibly more)
Elliot's (or White-vented) Storm-Petrel a: 20-plus
Markham's Storm-Petrel a:2
Peruvian Diving-Petrel  v:1, a:10
Peruvian Pelican  v:100, a:many
Peruvian Booby  v:50, a:many
Blue-footed Booby  a:1 (rare in Chile)
Brown Booby a:1 (rare in Chile)
Guanay Cormorant  v:3, a: a few
Red-legged Cormorant  v:3 
Red (or Grey) Phalarope  v:25, a:1
Red-necked Phalarope  a:25 
Chilean Skua v:4
South Polar Skua a:1
Pomarine Jaeger a:1
Parasitic Jaeger  a:30
Gray Gull  a:many
Belcher's (formerly Band-tailed) Gull a:50
Kelp Gull v:dozens, a:1 or 2
Franklin's Gull  v:100 a:200
Laughing Gull a:1
Sabine's Gull a:1
South Amercian Tern  v:10 a:2
Common Tern v:1 (possibly more)
Arctic Tern  v:5 (probably more)
Elegant Tern  v:3, a:30
Sandwich Tern  a:1 (rare in Chile)
Inca Tern  v:20, a:100-plus

Birds during FONT Chilean pelagic trips
in November 1997

An account written by tour leader, Armas Hill

During our more than a decade of pelagic trips off the Chilean coast, it was during this year that the most birds were seen. That was due largely in part to the "El Nino phenomenon". Another factor  was our abundance of "chum".  Anyway, our 2 pelagic birding trips off the coast of Chile in November '97 were among our best ever!

There were always birds in large numbers around our boats. Nearly all of the species were seen closely. Among them were 6 species of albatrosses!

One trip was on November 17, from Valparaiso, in central Chile. The other, on November 27, was from Arica in northern Chile, just south of Peru.
Each trip lasted about 5 hours. Each went out about 15 miles offshore.

Regarding the "chum": During the Valparaiso trip, there were 11 buckets of it (fish parts). During the Arica trip, there were 6 buckets. A second boat (from Arica) accompanied the boat with the birders. that second boat was just to carry the chum. During both trips, the chumming was continuous.

In the following list of oceanic birds, the red number relates to what was seen off Valparaiso (v), the blue number off Arica (a).

Humboldt Penguin  v:3  a:3

Black-browed Albatross (or Mollymawk)  v:30  a:10

Buller's Albatross (or Mollymawk)  v:5

Salvin's Albatross (or Mollymawk)  v:50  a:3

Chatham (Island) Albatross (or Mollymawk)  v:2 (or more)

Gray-headed Albatross (or Mollymawk)  v:3

Waved (or Galapagos) Albatross  a:15

Southern Giant-Petrel  v:2

Southern (or Silver-grey) Fulmar  v:4  a:2

Cape Petrel (or Pintado)  v: 100  a:10

DeFilippi's (or MasAtierra) Petrel  v:25

White-chinned Petrel  v:15  a:8

Westland Petrel  v:2

Pink-footed Shearwater  v: a few thousand  a: 10

Sooty Shearwaters  v: thousands  a: 800

a "Manx-type" shearwater (probably Townsend'sa:1

Wilson's Storm-Petrel  v:1,000  a:100

White-vented (or Elliot's) Storm-Petrel  a:50

Markham's Storm-Petrel  a:1

Peruvian Diving-Petrel  v:6  a:2

Peruvian Pelican  v:1,000  a: many, many

Peruvian Booby  v:200  a:5,000 (or more)

Guanay Cormorant  v:10, a:3,000

Red-legged Cormorant  v:6  a:3 (by the harbor)

Red (or Grey) Phalarope  v:2  a:2

Chilean Skua  v:6

South Polar Skua  a:1

Pomarine Jaeger  a:20

Long-tailed Jaeger  a:1

Gray Gull  v:10  a:1,000

Belcher's (formerly Band-tailed) Gull  a:500

Kelp Gull v:hundreds  a:100

Franklin's Gull  v:many (mostly close to shore)  a:20,000 (10x that along the coast)

Laughing Gull  a:1(an immature)

Sabine's Gull  a:100 (50 in one flock)

South American Tern  v:100 (other terns possible)

Common Tern  a:1

Elegant Tern  v:3  a:30

Inca Tern  v:1  a:100


Peruvian (or Chilean) Pelican,
photographed by Harold Lebo, off Valparaiso, Chile

The Peruvian (or Chilean) Pelican is similar to, but larger than, its northerly cousin, the Brown Pelican. Off Valparaiso, they accompanied the boat well offshore, eating a hefty portion of the chum. Off Arica, they did not come out as far at sea, but in Arica itself, particularly around the harbor, there were thousands - walking tamely on the streets and docks, and en masse on roofs of buildings and by boats where fishermen were preparing their catch. The pelicans, along with numerous gulls, terns, and cormorants made quite a spectacle at the fishing port of Arica. That city, as a matter of interest, is surrounded by one of the driest deserts on earth, the Atacama, where one of the Arican birds, the Gray Gull, breeds.

Off Valparaiso, particularly numerous were Sooty Shearwaters, in a constant stream just offshore. That stream, of birds flying south, seemed to be never-ending.

The apparent Townsend's Shearwater (noted in the list above), seen off Arica, normally would occur further north over the Pacific, particularly off Central America.

Prior to 1997, (as far as we know) there were no records of either the Chatham Island Albatross or the Waved Albatross over Chilean waters. During our '97 Arica pelagic trip, there were 15 Waved Albatrosses.

Some of our other albatrosses in '97, were, such as the Chatham Island Albatross, from New Zealand and other islands in that area of the Pacific. Exceptions are the Gray-headed Albatross (which breeds in far-southern Chile) and the Black-browed Albatross, which we also see during our Chile tours much further to the south, often in large numbers, at the Strait of Magellan.

Highlights from previous Chile tours

Gray Gulls,
photographed by Harold Lebo, during a FONT tour in Arica, Chile.

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