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Jake Mohlmann on his recently completed tour, Argentina: The North - High Andes, the Chaco and Iguazú Falls

November 11: Jake Mohlmann on his recently completed tour, Argentina: The North - High Andes, the Chaco and Iguazú Falls

On our recently finished tour through some of Argentina’s northern sections we scoured misty cloud-shorn Yungas forests, meandering Monte scrub, dry thorny Chaco stands, arid endless Altiplano and exceptionally wet southeast Brazilian rainforest. We noted 470 species of birds setting a new record for this ever-evolving and extremely exciting itinerary. There was however one clear highlight I should probably mention first...


The Harpy Eagle battling for a nest stick.

While in Calilegua National Park, a local guide stopped and showed us a picture of a Harpy Eagle on her phone. We thought that was exciting for her but sadly of no direct interest to us until we realized she had JUST taken the picture about three kilometers down the road from where we were standing. Needless to say we kicked up some dust as we shot off to the aforementioned area in time to see this unbelievably regal rainforest predator in all its glory! After our initial viewing we managed to track it again further down canyon and watch as it struggled but ultimately succeeded in removing a sturdy branch it was determined to use for its nest.


An elated group after seeing the mega predator Harpy Eagle!

Of the 14 species of hummingbirds on the tour it was difficult to pick a favorite, but all agreed it was hard to beat the gaudy rectrices of the male Red-tailed Comet. This bird also happened to be the hummingbird we encountered on the most days of the tour.


A metallic male Red-tailed Comet defending a flower patch.

Even though this tour is unique in South America because there is only a single Antpitta that we typically try for, we do tend to see it very well. Among the 15 or so White-throated Antpittas we heard one day, a particularly bold individual couldn’t resist checking us out at close range.


This year we had very close views of the White-throated Antpitta.

The scenery at Iguazu Falls never ceases to amaze and witnessing such a huge quantity of water crashing into the depths below is awe inspiring. It’s also amazing how birds, like the Great Dusky Swifts, manage to find nesting substrate in the raging torrent.


Eye level views of Great Dusky Swifts at Iguazu Falls

Another bird voted (second) best of the trip by some was the endangered Black-fronted Piping Guan we saw extremely well in northern Misiones Province. Thanks to the expert knowledge of our local guide we watched as one of these spectacular creatures flew in right on time and fed on mossy rocks within 50 feet of the group!


This endangered Black-fronted Piping Guan posed for pictures.

Posted: November 11, 2019