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Chilean Buteo~

Who’s fixed his fine eyes on you?

A Chilean buteo, thats who!


Buteo is a general term that includes all gliding raptors. This guy came to call and stayed with me for a spell, in Valparaiso Chile.

I think, but am not sure, that he is a Swainson Hawk.


He might also be a Rufous Tailed Hawk, which is a rarer, southern version, of the North American Red Tailed Hawk. The rufous is a threatened species.

If anyone can help with identification, I would be most grateful and will post the clarification.

All I know is that he is a gorgeous buteo from Chile who hung out with me much closer and longer than Holler hawks ever do!

Cheers to you from Chile’s friendly hawks~

Serenity in La Serena~

El Parque Jardin del Corazon (Garden of the Heart) is the largest Japanese garden in South America.

It is located in La Serena Chile.

La Serena is Chile’s second oldest city, know for its historic neocolonial architecture.

The garden was built in 1994 as a cooperative effort by businesses in Japan and Chile to celebrate La Serena’s 450th anniversary.

It is full of lagoons, waterfalls, and native Japanese flora and fauna.


This is a Spot Flanked Gallinule, native to distinct areas of Chile and South America, making himself quite at home in the lush Japanese gardens!

Note: There are Golden Carp swimming in the gardens, but I photographed the Koi in San Diego and added them, feeling they fit in nicely with the landscape ambience.

Cheers to you from Chile’s Garden of the Heart~

Incas~

In a world chock-full of beautiful birds,

Inca Terns have to be some of the most stunning,

and unique.

Their looks are matched by their winsome personalities.

Inca Terns are the only member of their genus, Larosterna.

They are restricted to areas enriched by The Humboldt Current, off the coasts of Peru and Chile.

They are a near threatened species.

Cheers to you from the always wonderful to find, Inca Terns~

Peru’s Sulas~

Sulas, more commonly known as boobies live on both the Palomino and Ballestas Islands off the coast of Peru. This is picturesque Pisco Harbor, gateway to Islas Ballestas.

There are six different types of sula species. They are commonly called boobies because of the comical method in which they land, often stumbling over their large feet, and because they were incorrectly assumed to be not be very intelligent. These are quite smart Peruvian Booby adults and juveniles on Islas Ballestas.

Peruvian Boobies are confined to areas near The Humboldt Current, in Peru, Chile and Ecuador.

They have pure white heads and chests.

Blue Footed Boobies have brown heads and the famous blue feet. 50% of them live in the Galapagos.

The rest are distributed from the Gulf of California to Peru.

Sulas are rather tame birds, and will let a cautious and respectful visitor approach closely.

Cheers to you from Peru’s fascinating, and quite bright, sulas~

Islas Ballestas~

Islas Ballestas, an island group off the coast of Paracas, are often referred to as Peru’s Galapagos. They are a group of uninhabited islands that are part of the wildlife rich, Paracas National Reserve. This is a colony of Guanay Cormorants native to Peru and Chile.

You cannot visit the islands without passing the giant Candelabra carved into the rock face and carbon dated to 200 BCE.

The islands shelter an incredible variety of fauna. There are literally millions of birds and their feathers float and fill the air like lazy drifting snowflakes.


There are fur seals, Humboldt penguins, Inca terns, blue footed boobies, and so many more amazing wild creatures here. I will show you them in my next few posts.

But for now, let’s just look at these unusual islands.

They are volcanic, and riddled with arches and ancient sea caves. The layers in the caves show the process of geologic time.

You can go in the caves, if you dare, and if you do, look at what you will see!

Cheers to you from Peru’s incredible islands~

Palomino Islands~

The geologically stunning Palamino Islands are off the coast of Callao Peru.

The boat trip out to visit them is exciting as the waters are rough, especially in the narrows between the islands.

Local fisherman brave the rough seas in their small pangas. There is an abandoned prison on one island reminiscent of Devil’s Island, and there are multiple old shipwrecks in the treacherous waters.

Like Isla Ballestas, which I will show you next, these Peruvian islands are a wonderland of marine mammals and birds, including Humboldt Penguins. The Patagonian Sea Lion nurseries, where mamas drop their babies off for group day care while they go off to fish, are especially fascinating. Doesn’t the adult baby sitter in the lower right corner look just a tad stressed? I can relate to how she must feel!

Child care duty takes a village!

These huge southern sea lions are friendly,

and very curious.

They seem to enjoy checking out the humans who come to visit.

Cheers to you from the remarkable Palomino Islands~

Costa Rica Croc Walk~

When hiking in Costa Rica and Central America, one needs to not be so mesmerized by the flora and fauna,

that one fails to notice the crocodiles, which is actually quite easy to do, since they are so well camouflaged. Do you see them here? Looking like logs in the river?

Sometimes you won’t even see the crocs, but you will see the holes they rest in and their drag marks.

How doth the little crocodile 
improve his shining tail,
and pour the waters of the Nile
on every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,       
how neatly spreads his claws,
and welcomes little fishes in,
with gently smiling jaws! (Lewis Carroll)

After you come upon a croc unexpectedly for the first time, you are far more vigilant in the future!

Cheers to you from Costa Rica’s crocs~