Birder's Guide

MAR 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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49 March 2017 | Birder's Guide to Travel Ashland, Oregon Brandon Breen sat down in the Jorge Newbery Airport terminal to wait for my boarding call. The chaotic streets of Buenos Aires receded from my mind, and in their place, the promise of Patagonia began to take shape: Lesser Rheas (cousins of the ostrich) running pell-mell through the grassy steppe, flamingos holding yogic poses in shallow waters, and the short-tailed sil - houettes of buzzard-eagles wheeling around the sun. The board- ing call came, and in a few hours, our plane would touch down in one of the most magnificently scenic landscapes on the planet. Patagonia is a region within Chile and Argentina that oc- cupies the southernmost portion of South America. Its borders run from the Colorado River in the north to Cape Horn in the south, and west to east from Pacific to Atlantic oceans. It's the size of California, Nevada, and Arizona combined but with only a tiny fraction of the population. Here, the final section of the Andes Mountains—some 1,100 miles long and topping off at over 15,000 feet in el- evation—stretches down Patagonia's western side. This was my second trip to Patagonia. I visited the Chilean side seven years earlier for a back - packing trip in Torres del Paine National Park. I was returning to Patagonia, this time on the Argentine side, because I had been be- I n RIGHT: Thorn-tailed Rayadito Photo © Alejandro Insegna n LEFT: Mount Fitz Roy Photo © OST Charmed by Rayaditos A Birding Trip to Patagonia

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