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 58 of 95

57 March 2017 | Birder's Guide to Travel side of town at a brisk pace. The day was perfect: cloudless and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The trail climbed into a southern beech forest. Thorn-tailed Rayaditos, omnipresent and trilling soothingly, sounded in contrast to the doleful tones of the White-crested Elaenias that seemed to cry, "Me!... Me!... Me!" House Wrens, Rufous-collared Sparrows, and Patagonian Sierra-Finches were likewise common. I came to an overlook of the Río de las Vueltas (River of the Turns), a milky, glacier-fed river winding through a flat valley hemmed in by steep moun - tains. The trail skirted a hillside, and the mighty peaks came into view. The low- est of these, Saint-Exupéry, was named after a hero of mine, the French writer and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint- Exupéry, best known in the U.S. as the author of The Little Prince. I continued through more forest to the shores and pellucid waters of Lake Capri. I lunched there briefly, again with a view of those awesome peaks, before continuing at my quickened pace. The trail was popular with trekkers but not so full as to be crowded. As the trail wound through scrubby vegeta- tion, I glanced to my right and stopped abruptly. There was something, rounded and plump, in the shadow of the tree. I looked through my binoculars: it was an Austral Pygmy-Owl, and only several feet away! I admired this diurnal hunter and then had the pleasure of pointing it out to a mother-and-daughter duo who came up the trail behind me. Up ahead, I came to a small red-rock stream with multiple short cascades and my most picturesque view yet of Mount Fitz Roy, Poincenot Spire, and Saint- Exupéry Spire . These repeated views re- LEFT TO RIGHT: n Chiloé Wigeons Photo © Brian Ralphs n Austral Parakeet Photo © João Quental n Black-throated Huet-huet Photo © Brandon Breen BACKGROUND: n Perito Moreno Glacier Photo © Brandon Breen

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