Among almost 500 known species of birds found in Chile, there are those found nowhere else. The deserts, glacial waters, mountains, and Pacific islands of Chile are home to a wide variety of bird species. The country is one of the most popular for bird watching in South America.
Chile's Endemic Bird Species
The Chilean Mockingbird is a species in the family Mimidae. The bird has a brownish-grey plumage with dark streaks on the back, head, and neck. The belly is dirty-white while a white stripe crosses the region above the eye and a black streak runs directly below. The bird’s feathers are white-tipped, and it also has a long bill and tail. The Chilean Mockingbird is mostly common in the central region of the country, and it inhabits habitats ranging from scrubland, dense evergreen mattoral, semi-desert, to bushland. The Chilean Mockingbird is most notable for its song, consisting of variable phrases and notes. The bird feeds on insects and fruits which it forages from low-level vegetation. It is listed as least concern as it has a wide distribution range and it is under no significant threat.
Juan Fernandez Firecrown
The Juan Fernandez Firecrown is a hummingbird species native to the Juan Fernandez Islands in Chile. The female and male have pronounced differences. The male is a fiery rufous-orange with dark gray wings, a reddish-yellow crown, and a black bill. The female’s underparts are white with green and black spots while the upperparts appear bluish-green. The female’s crown is a striking iridescent blue. The Juan Fernandez Firecrown inhabits native forests, gardens, and thickets. It is nectarivorous in regards to feeding, but it also feeds on insects. This species is listed as critically endangered. Its population has been severely reduced by habitat loss, the introduction of alien species, and trapping by private collectors and scientists. The Juan Fernandez Islands have been a national park since 1935, and the government in collaboration with international organizations has implemented efforts to restore the species.
The Moustached Turca is a bird species in the family Rhinocryptidae endemic to Chile. The bird is mostly spotted in the margins of the Atacama Desert as well as the central foothills. The bird has a brown body and a reddish-brown breast. The feet, legs, and beak are black, and the tail is mostly held cocked. The bird has a massive white moustache stripe and a black bill. The bird has two subspecies namely the northern turca and the turca. The bird is mostly spotted in slopes covered by thickets. Moustached Turca feeds on insects, seeds, worms, and berries. It is mainly terrestrial, and it breeds from September to December. The bird is listed as least concern due to its large population and wide habitat range.
The Chilean Tinamou is classified in the Tinamidae family native to Chile. It is more abundant in Central Chile, where it inhabits subtropical and tropical shrublands and grasslands as well as arable land. The bird is stocky, being 11 inches in length, with short yellowish legs. The upperparts appear striped, and its neck is brown. The bird is nearly tail-less with large wings which look reddish-brown when the bird is in motion. The Chilean Tinamou is mainly granivorous, and its song is a single shrill whistle. The female lays a maximum of 12 eggs which are then incubated by the male. The bird's status is listed as least concern although its population has been decreasing due to hunting and illegal trapping.
Other Endemic Bird Species In Chile
The rest of Chile’s endemic bird species are Pincoya Storm-Petrel (Oceanites pincoyae); Dusky Tapaculo (Scytalopus fuscus); Crag Chilia (Ochetorhynchus melanurus); Masafuera Rayadito (Aphrastura masafuerae); Juan Fernandez Tit-Tyrant (Anairetes fernandezianus); Seaside Cinclodes (Cinclodes nigrofumosus); White-Throated Tapaculo (Scelorchilus albicollis); Slender-Billed Parakeet (Enicognathus leptorhynchus), and Chilean Woodstar (Eulidia yarrellii).