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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Page 54 of 95

53 March 2017 | Birder's Guide to Travel birds added cheer to a viewing blind. Even the "no dogs" sign—a circle with a slash over the silhouette of a ter- rier—featured a meadowlark perched on the circle. These signs demonstrat- ed the care, attention, and love of place necessary for nature conservation. The best message on a sign was straightfor- ward: donde vivas conserva la naturaleza (conserve nature where you live). The next morning, I teamed up with a young American woman I met in Buenos Aires and re-encountered in the streets of El Calafate. We followed a narrow earthen path that criss- crossed the Calafate Creek and led into the Andean foothills. We watched a flock of Black-chinned Siskins for- aging greedily, and later an elegant raptor landed on a fencepost: a male American Kestrel but with a whiter belly and more subtle facial markings than kestrels in North America. Canyon walls rose up on either side of us as we ventured farther. We came to a marshy area where Blue- and-white Swallows flew reconnais- sance missions past us in sweeping arcs. Then, in a moment of mutual surprise, a handful of South American Snipe flushed before us. We con- tinued through thorny scrub and were met by a male Rufous-tailed Plantcutter with orange-red under- sides and crown, white wing spots, and impatient-looking red eyes. Next, a massive raptor with a tail so short it barely protruded beyond its wings— a Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle—flew n LEFT: Tufted Tit-Tyrant Photo © João Quental n RIGHT: Plumbeous Rail Photo © Brandon Breen n Lesser Rheas near the Sierra Baguales in Chile. Photo © David Bell

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