# Species:514
# Excl Vagrants:421
# Endemics:11
# Near Endemics:65


Chile is a narrow affectountry spanning a large extent of latitudes. Thus, the climate depends greatly on latitude. In general, there are 4 seasons. September through November is spring. December through February is summer. March through May is autumn. June through August is winter. Seasons are greatly affect by a south Pacific semi-permanent high pressure region, a southern circumpolar low pressure region, the cold Humboldt current, coastal mountains, and the Andes. The result is greatly variable climate throughout the country that depends greatly on geography.



The only tropical region in Chile is on Easter Island, which supports tropical rainforest. The climate is mild, with the heaviest rainfall in April though it rains regularly throughout the year. Due to its isolated location in the Pacific, the island is constantly exposed to winds coming off the Pacific.

Dry Arid

The coastal region in the far north is encompassed by the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth. The semi-permanent high pressure anticyclone in the Pacific results in little rainfall arising from the ocean and any precipitation that might fall is blocked by the coastal mountain range, while the Andes Mountains in the east prevent rainfall from arising in the west. As a result, there is little vegetation or birds in the region. The lowest average yearly rainfall in the world is at Arica in northern Chile, and no rainfall has ever been recorded at Calama in the Atacama Desert. There are, however, some rivers that flow down toward the ocean from the highlands of the altiplano, and these provide habitat for some specialty birds not present anywhere else except this region. The Lluta Valley located 10km north of Arica is fed by the Lluta River and offers good birding. The valley is also notable for large geoglyhs similar to the Nazca Lines of southern Peru. Aside from Arica, the other noteworthy town in this region is the mining center at Iquique, the jump off point for productive pelagic trips out into the Humboldt Current.


The Altiplano or high Andean plateau is only found in the north. This region receives considerable rainfall that feeds numerous freshwater and saline lakes. A few rivers flowing down from this region reach the Pacific. Most outflows are trickles that lead into the Atacama Desert and go dry from evaporation. The most notable birding locale in this region is Lauca National Park, situated very near the border with Bolivia. Another birding locale is in the highlands near San Pedro de Atacama above Calama where the range restricted Horned Coot is most accessible in Chile.

Central Region

The central region of Chile is home to most of the country's population. The region is bounded in the west of the Coastal Range and in the east by the Andes. The central valley between the two ranges has a Mediterranean climate with more rainfall in the north than in the south. Notable birding areas are La Campana National Park in the Coastal Range and highlands above Santiago in the Andes. The coastal city of Valparaiso is the jump-off point for pelagic trips out into the Humboldt Current. South of Santiago are birding sites around the town of Vilches in the Andes west of Talca.

Southern Region

The Southern Region of Chile is a region of numerous lakes between the Coastal Mountains and the Andes. It's one of the rainiest regions in the world, averaging about 100in/year. The pastures toward the north are used for raising cattle and sheep. This region is part of Patagonia, which extends into southern Argentina. A notable national park in this region is Puyehue National Park, a spectacularly scenic region dominated by souther beech forest. A number of specialty birds are found there including the much sought after Black-throated Huet-huet. Another birding site of note is at Ternuco where Rufous-tailed Hawk is best found as well as a number of other specialties.

Far South

The Far South extends to Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego. This region is generally chilly and wet with cold winters. It's somewhat mountainous but has large expanses of pasture. The main port city is Puerto Montt, where Chile's largest salmon farms in the mainstay of its economy. The important birding locale near Puerto Montt is Isla de Chiloe, home to the Chiloe subspecies of Flightless Steamer-Duck, a possible future split. Yet farther south is Tierra del Fuego. The main town there is Punta Areans. From there a ferry takes one across to Porvenir, gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. This park is home to a number of specialty birds as well as mammals such as Puma. A pelagic trip out of the harbor is good for many subantarctic seabirds.