Alto Andino Nature Tours                 Putre, Chile

Resources for the central Andes and the Atacama     (and some other places)

Birds, marine and terrestrial mammals, geology, history, conservation, nature sounds, wildlife guides, altiplano fish, deserts, useful books, multimedia.

For wildflowers and native plants:  Northern Chile wildflowers & plants, extreme alpines, cacti, resources regarding flora, guide service flora. 

E Bird Chile

Good news:  6 new protected areas in Chile, 2 of which are along the routes of Alto Andino tours. 
Alerce Costero y Salar de Huasco, entre las 6 nuevas  áreas bajo protección estatal

Lagidium peruanum, Lauca National Park, Chile.    Copyright Barbara Knapton
Everyone's favorite "looks like a rabbit" Lauca rodent:  Family Chinchillidae, lives in rock piles, feeds on the bofedal very early in the morning, spends a few hours warming with back to sun, coprophagic.  The Mountain Viscacha (Northern Viscacha), Lagidium peruanum sheds fur all year round, which is probably why it was saved from persecution by the fur trade.  Photo copyright B Knapton   Taxonomy per Mamiferos de Chile, see below.   

Southern Cone Travel    Wayne Bernhardson, well known author of the best Chile and Argentina travel guides,  also maintains a travel blog for the southern cone.  


Bird books and resources 

Nancy Bell's bird photos
includes trip to Chile

free download: Aves Rapaces de la Cordillera de Nahuelbuta y sus alrededores    (Chile) authors Tomas Rivas F. y Ricardo Figueroa R.

Aves de Arica y Parinacota  
incredible photos of Ignacio Azocar

Birds of Chile.  Jaramillo, A., illustrated by Peter Burke and David Beadle.  2003.  ISBN 0-691-00499-4.  Also in Spanish.  "Aves de Chile", the Jaramillo/Burke/Beadle fieldguide in Spanish can be obtained from Lynx Ediciones in Barcelona. 

Las Aves de Chile:   by Daniel Martinez and Gonzalo Gonzalez.  In Spanish, can be obtained from AvesChile   

Birds of Peru  (Princeton Field Guides) 2007  by Schulenberg, Stotz, Lane, O'Neill, Parker, Brack Egg. 

Juan Tassara's web site   is the best place to get up-to-date information about the birds of Chile.

The birds of Chile, by Charles E. Hellmayr. (1932) online at the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Figuras i descripciones de aves chilenas / por R.A. Philippi (1902)

The Southern Cross Peregrine Project:   Chilean-Arctic Northward Peregrine Migration

Where to watch birds in Peru.  Thomas Valqui.  2004.  ISBN 9972-33-092-3  

Bird Bolivia
A. Bennett Hennessey's site.  Birding site guide, Armonía Conservacion Programs updates, research, publications, field stories. Bennett and his family live in Santa Cruz. para el Estudio de la Fauna Paraguaya    FAUNA Paraguay, the biggest information archive on Paraguayan Natural History on the web. Birding in Paraguay with UK zoologist Paul Smith

Hummingbirds: Madre de Dios, Peru    Rapid Color Guide

Las Aves Amenazados de Chile  Fabrice Schmitt

A Parrot without a name  1991.  by Don Stap  "Amateur birder Stap analyzes the work of O'Neill and his frequent collaborator, Ted Parker, realistically presenting both the rewards and frustrations of zoological field work today. Much of the book is a fascinating firsthand account of an expedition to Peru which the author joined for several weeks in June 1987, the climax of which was the discovery of the new parrot species of the title." 

Ornithological message boards

NEOORN is an email bulletin board devoted to disseminating information on the biology of Neotropical birds. 

OBSCHILE   interchange information about new registries and sightings of birds in Chile.

Recommended bird and natural history guide for Patagonia:   Ricardo Matus

Mammals, Marine and Terrestrial

Manual para identificación de carnívoros andinos 

Mamíferos de Chile.   
2008   ISBN  978-84-96553-31-6  by Agustin Iriarte Walton  420 pp.  Just what we have needed for so long, an meaty field guide on Chile's mammals.  

A Desert Calling:  Life in a forbidding landscape  
2002  ISBN  0-674-00747-6   by   Michael A Mares      

Centro de Conservación Cetacea (CCC)

Mamiferos de Chile.  A. Muñoz P., J. Yañez V, editores. 2000.  Over 400 pp, paperback textbook over the mammals of Chile, in Spanish.  

Mammals of Bolivia, Taxonomy and Distribution.  S. Anderson.  1997.  ISSN  0003-0090   Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History Number 231, New York: 1997. 

Nature Sounds

The Sound Approach to Birding: A guide to understanding bird sounds
. by Mark Constantine and the Sound Approach.  2006.  (Alto Andino designated "4 star resource")

Raven Lite:   Good news, the Cornell Lab has just announced that the program is now free.  Can't beat that!  

Bird Sounds from southern South America   Sonidos de aves del Cono Sur

xeno-canto:    Xeno-canto members share 
87292 bird songs from 7695 species Xeno-canto   Hall of Fame

CD ROM Birds of Bolivia 2.0.  By Sjoerd Mayer, published 2000.   Available at   
Birdsong: A Natural History   by Don Stap   2006

The Singing Life of Birds  by Donald Kroodsma, 2005

Nature's Music  The Science of Birdsong  by Peter Marler, Hans Slabbekoorn  2004

those pesky flamingosFlamingos in the news:   We don't know whether to blame global warming or just avian audacity, but flamingos have been seen lurking around Putre.  Apparently sick and tired of filtering diatoms and standing around all year in cold water up on the altiplano, this bird in breeding plumage was caught trying to steal the potatoes, or "papa chuños", that the  villagers had laid out to freeze dry.  Just for Fun Flags and Windsocks

Birds of Chile and adjacent regions of Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru by AW Johnson, Vol I, II, and supplement.  1965, 1967.    Chock full of natural history observations that don't seem to be included in present day bird books. In the "Birds of Chile" Johnson included the names of  the birds in Latin, English, Spanish, Aymará, Araucano, also names from Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and any other local name he could find, to make his work usable by the greatest number of people.

AW Johnson on first seeing the giant coot in the area which is now Parque Nacional Lauca:   "Setting out next morning with the first rays of light, we reached the shores of the lake just as the sun was rising behind the peaks and were witness to a scene of such grandeur and beauty as, once seen, lingers for ever in the memory.  Cotacotani lay placid and asleep at the foot of the twin volcanoes which, lifting their snow-clad caps to over 20,000 feet, reflected their pure and crystal clear images in the tranquil waters of the lake to which they had given birth and which owed its very existence to their continually melting snows........Here amid this scene of awesome grandeur, of immense and almost terrifying solitude, where the inclemencies of the weather in its moments of anger are such that not a single indian is bold enough to pitch his camp, the giant coot has taken up his abode, lives, reproduces his kind and dies, a far cry from the world of man......"  Birds of Chile, Vol 1, 1965, pp 300-301.

A Wildlife Guide to Chile:  Good for the whole country, if you can bring just book to Chile then make it this one.   

Sampler of plates from NHBS.    Reviews and more information from Amazon

Interview with Sharon.        "What is your favourite place in Chile and why?

"Certainly Lauca National Park in the High Andes of northern Chile and Torres del Paine National Park in the south rank in the Top Ten. These parks harbor vast reservoirs of rare and endangered plants, birds, and mammals that live amidst incomparable scenic beauty."

Good Books

A Desert Calling:  Life in a forbidding landscape   2002  ISBN  0-674-00747-6  by Michael A Mares      

Joyas Aladas de Colombia
, by Luis Mazariegos. 2000. ISBN 958-33-1633-4.   Hummingbirds of Colombia.   Review in WorldTwitch

Arte de Pájaros, Pablo Neruda, now available from Lynx Ediciones  

Birds of the High Andes: A Manual to the Birds of the Temperate Zone of the Andes and Patagonia, South America. by Fjeldsa and Krabbe, 1990   

One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest,  Wade Davis, 1996.  
My season with penguins, an Antarctic journal  by Sophie Webb, 2000. Biologist and wildlife artist Sophie Webb writes of her 2 month stay in Antarctica studying Adélie penguins.  Looking for Seabirds:  journal from an Alaska Voyage by Sophie Webb, 2004.  Details  the experiences of a seabird researcher.  

A Reference Guide to Gulls of the Americas    Steve N.G. Howell and Jon Dunn.  2007.  

Ornithology:  journals, organizations, meetings

Red de Observadores de Aves y Vida Silvestre de Chile 

LA TANGARA  los archivos.

Ornitologia Neotropical: An International Journal of Neotropical Ornithology 

Searchable Ornithological Research Archive  Browse ornithological journals with some, like Auk,  going back to 1884.  

Birds of North America Online, a massive, useful project by Cornell lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology:  Monday Night Seminar Video Archive   You can watch as it occurs, online, or reference 4 years of seminars.  

Marine Ornithology Downloads from 1988 to present.  

Boletín Chileno de Ornitología   Bibliografía del Boletín de Ornitología 1994-2004    latest boletín
Classification of the Birds of South America parts 1-4:  Keep up with the latest taxonomy and with proposed changes

Downloadable Clements Checklist:  Cornell Lab of Ornithology site

Cotinga:  Journal of the Neotropical Bird Club  Long live Cotinga!

Asociación Ornitológica del Plata (Argentina)

BirdLife International
News Bytes  Globally threatened  species in Chile  Chilean Woodstar
White-tailed Shrike-tyrant
Andean Flamingo


Pupfish (Killifish, Corvinilla)
Orestias ascotanensis del Desierto de Atacama

Pupfish in the Lauca River

Pupfish (Killifish) Killi Club, photos of some species in Lauca

Fishes of western South America.  

Current knowledge of FW fish in Chile.  Estado de conocimiento de los peces dulceacuícolas de Chile

Especies Hidrobiológicas en Estado de Conservación en Chile   Peces dulceacuícolas

Rapid Color Guide to fish of Parque Nacional Manu, Peru

Geology and History

How the Earth was made:  Mount St. Helens 

All you'd ever want to know about volcanoes in the Andes and rest of the globe.  We have several potentially active and active volcanoes in  Biosphere Reserve PN Lauca, and one just above the town of Putre. Lauca's  Parinacota Volcano is higher than Mt. McKinley in Alaska.   

The Ten Cents War:  Chile, Peru, and Bolivia in the War of the Pacific, 1879-1884  
by BW Farcau.  2000.  From Amazon: "The Atacama Desert, a coastal area where the borders of Chile, Peru, and Bolivia meet, was a region of little interest in the late nineteenth century until European research on the use of nitrates in fertilizers and explosives rendered the droppings of millions of sea birds a valuable commodity. In a move that echoed the California Gold Rush, the three neighboring countries soon battled for control of the region."

Devil in the Mountain
A Search for the Origin of the Andes by  Simon Lamb, 2004   ISBN 0691115966 

Introducción a la geología y morfología de los andes en el norte de Chile   Chungara Volumen 30 No 1 1998 

Evolution of high Andean Ecosystems:  Environment, Climate, and Cultural Change over the last 12,000 years in the central Andes. C Baied and JC Wheeler, 1993

Stromatolites in Chile's extreme north, Salar de Llamara

1 Parte
   2 Parte   3 Parte

What's a Stromatolite?

Paisajes en extinción del Norte Chileno Parte 1    Parte 2

Itineraries:  birding   nature   wildflowers   cruise ship shore birding       Birds & Fauna:   resources    area birds    Puna Rhea   Diademed Sandpiper-plover   Giant Conebill   Torrent Duck   seabirds   Andean Lapwing   Andean Deer  Hornby's and Markham's storm petrels Mountain Parakeets    Wildflowers:   flora    Lauca's extreme alpines   Atacama wildflowers    alpine cushion bogs      Unique places:   PN Volcán Isluga   Putre     Details:   guiding    home    FAQ    reservations   altitude    planning  

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