Fauna of Torres del Paine (Part II)
Condor (Vultur gryphus): This magnificent bird, which inhabits the Andes mountains, primarily in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile, can have a wingspan of more than 3 meters. The condor can fly more than 7,000 meters high and glide for prolonged periods of time in order to find food, therefore it is best observed from viewpoints.
Due to their importance, the hunting of condors is strictly prohibited by law. Additionally, there are breeding programs in captivity to increase the population of this symbolic bird of Chile.
Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus): This typical South American bird is easy to recognze by its white plumage and black neck. It primarily inhabits lakes and ponds; although, during the winter, it migrates to warmer regions, such as southern Brazil and Paraguay.
Andean Fox or Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus): This is one of the biggest foxes in South America, weighing around 10 kg. Although it also lives in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru, the majority are found in Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia.
Since it feeds on carrion, farm birds, and sheep, the culpeo avoids contact with humans, so it is difficult to find. In the event of spotting a culpeo, it is recommended that you be careful and maintain your distance.
Chilean Blue Eagle (Geranoetus melanoleucus): This bird belongs to the family of eagles, which are among the most common predatory birds in the world. In Torres del Paine National Park, you will mostly see Chilean blue eagles, whose exceptional vision and powerful talons make them one of the primary dangers to small reptiles and mammals.
Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis): This bird is characterized by its long legs, black beak, and, most of all, by the pink plumage it gets when it reaches adulthood. The flamingo can be found in areas with shallow water, such as the lakes of Patagonia.
In certain times of year, it migrates from Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay to warmer regions, like Uruguay and Brazil.
Magellanic Woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus): This bird only inhabits the forests of Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia. It is characterized by its black feathers, in addition to the red heads of the males, and the mix of black and red of the females and newly-hatched young.
Patagonian Sierra Finch (Phrygilus patagonicus): This small Patagonian bird usually lives in areas with lots of vegetation and feeds on seeds, plants, and insects, although it can be found eating garbage near human settlements. It can be recognized by its combination of blue-gray plumage with yellow, brown, and green feathers on its back.
Common Diuca Finch (Diuca diuca): This small, gray bird with white patches is common in Chile due to its facility for adapting to different habitats, even cities. It generally lives in groups, except during mating season.
Armadillo (Dasypodidae): The armadillo can live anywhere from Central America to Patagonia. It is very easy to recognize by its armor and ability to roll itself into a ball when in danger. It is a nocturnal, solitary, and omniverous animal that prefers to live in caves or dry areas.