List of birds of Chile

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Andean condor is the national bird of Chile.

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Chile. Unless otherwise noted, the list is that of the South American Classification Committee (SACC) of the American Ornithological Society (formerly the American Ornithologists' Union).[1] The list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) are those of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2016 edition.[2]

The SACC list includes species recorded in mainland Chile, on the Chilean islands of the Cape Horn area, and on other islands and waters near the mainland. The SACC list for Chile includes 493 species, of which 12 are endemic, five have been introduced by humans, 103 are rare or accidental, and two have been extirpated or are extinct. An additional seven species are hypothetical (see below). Thirty-five of the species on the Chilean SACC list are globally threatened.[3] In addition to the 499 species detailed above, 18 more are also listed here whose only Chilean records are from Easter Island, Sala y Gómez, the Juan Fernández Islands, or the Chilean Antarctic Territory.

The taxonomy used by the SACC differs from "Clements", and significant differences in names are noted.[4] Differences from "Clements" in the sequence of orders, families, and species within families are usually not noted.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories.

  • (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Chile
  • (E) Endemic - a species endemic to Chile
  • (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Chile as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
  • (H) Hypothetical - a species recorded but with "no tangible evidence" according to the SACC
  • (OIT) Other islands and territories - a species whose only Chilean records are from Easter Island, Sala y Gómez, the Juan Fernández Islands, or the Chilean Antarctic Territory


Lesser rheas, different races occur in Patagonia and in the northern Andes.

Order: Rheiformes   Family: Rheidae

The rheas are large flightless birds native to South America. Their feet have three toes rather than four which allows them to run faster. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.


Order: Tinamiformes   Family: Tinamidae

The tinamous are one of the most ancient groups of bird. Although they look similar to other ground-dwelling birds like quail and grouse, they have no close relatives and are classified as a single family, Tinamidae, within their own order, the Tinamiformes. They are distantly related to the ratites (order Struthioniformes), that includes the rheas, emus and kiwis. There are 6 species which occur in Chile.

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl[edit]

Black-necked swan, a large bird of coasts and wetlands.
Upland goose, common in Patagonia
Chiloe wigeon, breeds in southern and central Chile with some migrating north in winter.

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.

New World quail[edit]

California quail, introduced in 1870.

Order: Galliformes   Family: Odontophoridae

The New World quails are small, plump terrestrial birds only distantly related to the quails of the Old World, but named for their similar appearance and habits. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.

Pheasants, grouse, and allies[edit]

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.


Pied-billed grebe, widespread on lakes and ponds.

Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 5 species which occur in Chile.


Andean flamingo in the Salar de Atacama, occurs at saline lakes in the northern highlands.

Order: Phoenicopteriformes   Family: Phoenicopteridae

Flamingos are gregarious wading birds, usually 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) tall, found in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Flamingos filter-feed on shellfish and algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they consume and, uniquely, are used upside-down. There are 3 species which occur in Chile.


Magellanic penguin, breeds in colonies in the south.

Order: Sphenisciformes   Family: Spheniscidae

The penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. There are 10 species which occur in Chile.


Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Diomedeidae

The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds. There are 11 species which occur in Chile.

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Southern fulmar, common offshore especially in winter.

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterized by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary. There are 41 species which occur in Chile. The diving petrels were included in this family in 2016.


Ringed storm petrel, believed to breed in northern Chile.

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 11 species which occur in Chile.


Red-billed tropicbird, a small colony breeds on Chañaral Island.

Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings. There are 3 species which occur in Chile.


Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 2 species which occur in Chile.


Order: Suliformes   Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have colored inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There are 2 species which occur in Chile.

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. There are 6 species which occur in Chile.

Cormorants and shags[edit]

Guanay cormorant nests on islands in large colonies.

Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage coloration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colorful. There are 6 species which occur in Chile.


Peruvian pelicans, common in the Humboldt Current area.

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are 2 species which occur in Chile.

Herons, egrets, and bitterns[edit]

Snowy egret, widespread near water.

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons, and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Unlike other long-neeecked birds such as storks, ibises, and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted. There are 12 species which occur in Chile.

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Black-faced ibises, often seen in flocks in open country

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are five species which occur in Chile.

New World vultures[edit]

Black vulture, often scavenges in cities.

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Cathartidae

The New World vultures are not closely related to Old World vultures, but superficially resemble them because of convergent evolution. Like the Old World vultures, they are scavengers. However, unlike Old World vultures, which find carcasses by sight, New World vultures have a good sense of smell with which they locate carrion. In the 2016 Clements list they were reclassified into Order Accipitriformes. There are three species which occur in Chile.


Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

Hawks, eagles, and kites[edit]

Black-chested buzzard-eagle, a large and widespread bird of prey.

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight. There are 10 species which occur in Chile.

Rails, gallinules, and coots[edit]

Red-fronted coot, found in well-vegetated lowland wetlands.
Giant coot at Bofedales de Parinacota, breeds at highland lakes in the north.

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers. There are 13 species which occur in Chile.


Snowy sheathbill, found along the coasts of southern chile.

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Chionididae

The sheathbills are scavengers of the Antarctic regions. They have white plumage and look plump and dove-like but are believed to be similar to the ancestors of the modern gulls and terns. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.

Magellanic plover[edit]

Magellanic plover, breeds by saline lakes in Patagonia.

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Pluvianellidae

The Magellanic plover is a rare wader found only in southernmost South America. In its build and habits it is similar to a turnstone. Its upperparts and breast are pale gray and the rest of the underparts are white. It has short red legs, a black bill and a red eye. In young birds, the eyes and legs are yellowish.


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Burhinidae

The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.

Stilts and avocets[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 2 species which occur in Chile.


Blackish oystercatcher, restricted to rocky coasts.

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 3 species which occur in Chile.

Plovers and lapwings[edit]

Southern lapwing, a conspicuous bird of open country.

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 14 species which occur in Chile.


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Thinocoridae

The seedsnipes are a small family of birds that superficially resemble sparrows. They have short legs and long wings and are herbivorous waders. There are 4 species which occur in Chile.


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Rostratulidae

Painted-snipes are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly colored. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Jacanidae

The jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Whimbrel, a migrant from North America.
Lesser yellowlegs, a migrant to wetland areas.
Sanderling, common on sandy beaches.

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers, and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 34 species which occur in Chile.

Skuas and jaegers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with gray or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 6 species which occur in Chile.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers[edit]

Belcher's gull, common on northern coasts.
Andean gull, breeds at high-altitude wetlands.
Inca tern, common in the waters of the Humboldt Current.

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gulls, kittiwakes, and terns. Gulls are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with gray or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years. Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Black-winged ground-dove, widespread in the Andes.

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 12 species which occur in Chile.


Groove-billed ani, occurs in farmland in the north of Chile.

Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. There are three species which occur in Chile.


Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.


Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 6 species which occur in Chile.

Nightjars and allies[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves.


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Nyctibiidae

(The SACC places potoos in their own Order, Nyctibiiformes)


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Steatornithidae

(The SACC places the oilbird in its own order, Steatornithiformes)

The oilbird is a slim, long-winged bird related to the nightjars. It is nocturnal and a specialist feeder on the fruit of the oil palm.

  • Oilbird, Steatornis caripensis (A)


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Apodidae

(The SACC places swifts in their own order, Apodiformes)[6]

Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. The 2016 Clements list subsumed their former order Apodiformes into Caprimulgiformes There are 2 species which occur in Chile.


Sparkling violetear, a hummingbird that lives in the north of Chile.

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Trochilidae

(The SACC places hummingbirds in their own order, Trochiliformes)[7]

Hummingbirds are small birds capable of hovering in mid-air due to the rapid flapping of their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. The 2016 Clements list subsumed their former order Trochiliformes into Caprimulgiformes. There are 10 species which occur in Chile.


Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There are 2 species which occur in Chile.

Woodpeckers and allies[edit]

Striped woodpecker, often feeds on the ground as well as in trees.
Chilean flicker in Torres del Paine National Park.

Order: Piciformes   Family: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are 4 species which occur in Chile.

Falcons and caracaras[edit]

Chimango caracara, often common around human settlements.

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are nine species which occur in Chile.

New World and African parrots[edit]

Burrowing parakeet, now rare and endangered in Chile.

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two to the back. There are 5 species which occur in Chile.


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Rhinocryptidae

The tapaculos are small suboscine passeriform birds with numerous species in South and Central America. They are terrestrial species that fly only poorly on their short wings. They have strong legs, well-suited to their habitat of grassland or forest undergrowth. The tail is cocked and pointed. There are 8 species which occur in Chile.

Ovenbirds and woodcreepers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Furnariidae

Ovenbirds comprise a large family of small sub-oscine passerine bird species found in Central and South America. They are a diverse group of insectivores which gets its name from the elaborate "oven-like" clay nests built by some species, although others build stick nests or nest in tunnels or clefts in rock. There are 34 species which occur in Chile.

Tyrant flycatchers[edit]

White-crested elaenia, a common summer visitor in much of Chile.
Fire-eyed diucon, often perches conspicuously on wires or the tops of bushes.
Great shrike-tyrant, a large flycatcher of scrub and open forest.

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Tyrannidae

Tyrant flycatchers are passerine birds which occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust and have stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, have plain coloring. As the name implies, most are insectivorous. There are 44 species which occur in Chile.


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cotingidae

The cotingas are birds of forests or forest edges in tropical South America. Comparatively little is known about this diverse group, although all have broad bills with hooked tips, rounded wings and strong legs. The males of many of the species are brightly colored or decorated with plumes or wattles. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile

Vireos, shrike-babblers, erpornis[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. They are typically greenish in color and resemble wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.


Barn swallow, a migrant from North America

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 11 species which occur in Chile.


House wren, widespread in a variety of habitats.

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Troglodytidae

The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous. There are 2 species which occur in Chile.

Thrushes and allies[edit]

Austral thrush in Santiago, often seen in parks and gardens.

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 5 species which occur in Chile.

Mockingbirds and thrashers[edit]

Chilean mockingbird, a near-endemic bird of Chile.

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Mimidae

The mimids are a family of passerine birds that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalizations, especially their ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. Their coloring tends towards dull-grays and browns. There are 4 species which occur in Chile.

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Motacillidae

Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 3 species which occur in Chile.

New World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Parulidae

The New World warblers are a group of small, often colorful, passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores. Seven species have occurred in Chile.

Tanagers and allies[edit]

Patagonian sierra-finch, found in forest and forest edge in the south.

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Thraupidae

The tanagers are a large group of small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to the New World, mainly in the tropics. Many species are brightly colored. They are seed eaters, but their preference tends towards fruit and nectar.

Buntings and New World sparrows[edit]

Rufous-collared sparrow near Punta Arenas, one of Chile's commonest birds.

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. In North America, most of the species in this family are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns.

Cardinals and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cardinalidae

The cardinals are a family of robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages. There are 3 species which occur in Chile.

Troupials and allies[edit]

Long-tailed meadowlark, a common bird of open country.

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Icteridae

The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colorful, passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds and New World orioles. Most species have black as the predominant plumage color, often enlivened by yellow, orange or red. There are 10 species which occur in Chile.

Finches, euphonias, and allies[edit]

Black-chinned siskin, common in southern and central Chile.

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds, that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well. There are 5 species which occur in Chile.

Old World sparrows[edit]

House sparrow, introduced in 1904.

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or gray birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. There is 1 species which occurs in Chile.


  1. ^ Alvaro Jaramillo and Rodrigo Barros, Species lists of birds for South American countries and territories: Chile. Version 9 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017
  2. ^ Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016. retrieved 11 August 2016
  3. ^ [ retrieved 11 March 2017
  4. ^ A Classification of the Bird Species of South America, hereafter SACC List. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  5. ^ SACC List
  6. ^ SACC List
  7. ^ SACC List
  8. ^ SACC List


  1. ^ This potential species has been proposed to the SACC (Proposal 721,, but voting is not complete. The Clements taxonomy includes it.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]