List 20 Special Birds of the Andes – High Andes

Discover the Majestic Birds of the Andes
Discover the Majestic Birds of the Andes

The Andes, the longest mountain range in the world, stretches through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. This impressive range is home to a vast array of bird species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. In this article, we’ll explore 20 birds that inhabit the high Andes, highlighting their unique characteristics and habitats.

Birds of the Andes

The Andes Mountains are a haven for bird enthusiasts. The diverse climates and elevations create perfect environments for a variety of bird species. Here are 20 remarkable birds you might encounter in the high Andes.

Andean Condor

Scientific Name: Vultur gryphus

The Andean condor is one of the largest flying birds in the world, with a wingspan of up to 10.5 feet. Known for its impressive size and soaring flight, it is a symbol of power and freedom in South American cultures. These birds primarily feed on carrion and are often seen gliding effortlessly over the mountains.

Andean Cock-of-the-rock

Scientific Name: Rupicola peruvianus

This bird is famous for its vibrant orange plumage and distinctive fan-shaped crest. Males are especially colorful and are known for their elaborate mating displays. They inhabit cloud forests and are often heard before they are seen, thanks to their loud calls.

Torrent Duck

Scientific Name: Merganetta armata

As the name suggests, the torrent duck lives in fast-flowing mountain streams. They have adapted to this environment with strong legs and webbed feet, allowing them to navigate the rushing waters with ease. Both males and females have striking plumage, making them a delight to spot.

Andean Goose

Scientific Name: Oressochen melanopterus

These large, mostly white birds are commonly found in high-altitude wetlands. They are often seen in pairs or small flocks, feeding on grasses and aquatic plants. Their strong presence and distinctive markings make them easy to identify.

Giant Hummingbird

Scientific Name: Patagona gigas

The giant hummingbird is the largest of its kind, measuring up to 8.5 inches in length. Despite its size, it retains the typical hummingbird’s ability to hover and feed on nectar from flowers. These birds are primarily found in open areas with abundant flowering plants.

Andean Hillstar

Scientific Name: Oreotrochilus estella

This hummingbird species is adapted to the cold climates of the high Andes. The male hillstar has a striking iridescent green throat, while the female is more subdued in color. They are often seen feeding on nectar from high-altitude flowers.

Andean Flicker

Scientific Name: Colaptes rupicola

The Andean flicker is a large woodpecker that prefers open grasslands and rocky areas. Unlike most woodpeckers, it spends a lot of time on the ground, searching for insects. Its brown and white plumage with a barred pattern makes it easily recognizable.

Black-faced Ibis

Scientific Name: Theristicus melanopis

This ibis is commonly seen in the high Andean wetlands. It has a distinctive black face and long, curved beak, which it uses to probe the ground for food. Their loud, trumpet-like calls are often heard before the birds are seen.

Andean Lapwing

Scientific Name: Vanellus resplendens

This bird is often found in high-altitude grasslands and marshes. It has striking black and white plumage with a noticeable crest on its head. Andean lapwings are known for their loud, piercing calls and aggressive behavior when defending their nests.

Puna Ibis

Scientific Name: Plegadis ridgwayi

The Puna ibis is another bird that thrives in high-altitude wetlands. It has a long, slender bill and glossy, dark plumage. These birds are often seen in large flocks, wading through shallow waters in search of food.

Andean Flamingo

Scientific Name: Phoenicoparrus andinus

One of the most beautiful and rare flamingo species, the Andean flamingo is known for its pale pink feathers and black-tipped wings. They inhabit high-altitude salt flats and lagoons, feeding on algae and small invertebrates.

Darwin’s Rhea

Scientific Name: Rhea pennata

Also known as the lesser rhea, this large, flightless bird is found in the southern Andes. It has a shaggy, grey-brown plumage and long legs, making it well-suited for running across open landscapes. Rheas feed on a variety of plants and small animals.

Andean Coot

Scientific Name: Fulica ardesiaca

The Andean coot is a common sight in high-altitude lakes and marshes. It has dark plumage and a distinctive white bill with a frontal shield. These birds are excellent swimmers and divers, often seen foraging for aquatic plants and insects.

White-winged Diuca-Finch

Scientific Name: Diuca speculifera

This small bird is often found in the high Andean puna grasslands. It has grey plumage with distinctive white wing patches. Diuca-finches are social birds, often seen in flocks feeding on seeds and insects.

Andean Parakeet

Scientific Name: Bolborhynchus orbygnesius

The Andean parakeet is a small, green parrot commonly found in the high Andes. These social birds are often seen in flocks, feeding on seeds and fruits. Their cheerful chatter and agile flight make them a delight to observe.

Black-winged Ground Dove

Scientific Name: Metriopelia melanoptera

This dove is found in arid, high-altitude regions. It has a distinctive black patch on its wings and a soft, cooing call. Ground doves feed on seeds and small insects, often seen foraging on the ground.

Andean Gull

Scientific Name: Chroicocephalus serranus

The Andean gull is a medium-sized bird with a striking black head during the breeding season. They are often found near lakes and rivers, feeding on fish, insects, and small invertebrates. Their loud calls and agile flight are characteristic features.

Cream-winged Cinclodes

Scientific Name: Cinclodes albiventris

This small bird is adapted to the harsh conditions of the high Andes. It has brown and white plumage and is often seen foraging along streams and rocky areas for insects and other small prey.

Andean Swallow

Scientific Name: Orochelidon andecola

The Andean swallow is a small, agile bird often seen flying over high-altitude grasslands and wetlands. It has a metallic blue upper body and a white underside. These swallows feed on insects, catching them in mid-air with their swift, acrobatic flight.

Great Horned Owl

Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus

While the great horned owl is found throughout the Americas, a subspecies inhabits the high Andes. These powerful predators have large ear tufts and piercing yellow eyes. They hunt a variety of prey, including small mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Conclusion

The high Andes are home to an incredible variety of bird species, each uniquely adapted to thrive in this challenging environment. From the majestic Andean condor to the colorful Andean cock-of-the-rock, these birds contribute to the rich biodiversity of the region. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts will find the Andes a rewarding destination to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

List of 100 Birds Found in The Andes Mountains:

The Andes Mountains are home to a vast array of bird species, many of which are unique to this region. Below is a table listing over 100 special birds found in the Andes, including their scientific names, habitats, and locations where they can be observed.

No.NameScientific NameHabitatWhere to See
1Andean CondorVultur gryphusHigh rocky areasThroughout the Andes, especially in Peru and Chile
2Andean GooseNeochen melanopteraHigh-altitude lakes and marshesAltiplano regions of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile
3Torrent DuckMerganetta armataFast-flowing riversThroughout the Andes
4Giant CootFulica giganteaHigh-altitude lakesAltiplano of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile
5Diademed Sandpiper-PloverPhegornis mitchelliiHigh-altitude bogs and wetlandsPuna region of the Andes
6Darwin’s RheaRhea pennataGrasslands and scrublandsPatagonia and Andean plateau
7Andean FlickerColaptes rupicolaHigh-altitude grasslands and scrublandsThroughout the Andes
8Royal CinclodesCinclodes aricomaePolylepis woodlandsPeru and Bolivia
9Andean Cock-of-the-rockRupicola peruvianusCloud forestsEastern slopes of the Andes
10Andean AvocetRecurvirostra andinaHigh-altitude lakes and marshesAltiplano of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile
11Andean FlamingoPhoenicoparrus andinusHigh-altitude salt flats and lakesThroughout the Andes
12Andean HillstarOreotrochilus estellaHigh-altitude areasThroughout the Andes
13Andean GullChroicocephalus serranusHigh-altitude lakes and riversThroughout the Andes
14Andean SwallowOrochelidon andecolaOpen areas near waterThroughout the Andes
15Andean TealAnas andiumHigh-altitude lakes and pondsThroughout the Andes
16Andean Tit-SpinetailLeptasthenura andicolaHigh-altitude shrublandsThroughout the Andes
17Andean SolitaireMyadestes ralloidesCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
18Andean PotooNyctibius maculosusForested areasThroughout the Andes
19Andean SiskinSpinus spinescensHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
20Andean MotmotMomotus aequatorialisCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
21Andean LapwingVanellus resplendensHerbaceous marshes and fieldsThroughout the Andes
22Andean GuanPenelope montagniiCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
23Andean SwiftAeronautes andecolusHigh-altitude areasThroughout the Andes
24Andean DuckOxyura ferrugineaHigh-altitude lakesThroughout the Andes
25Andean Crested DuckLophonetta specularioidesHigh-altitude lakes and riversThroughout the Andes
26Andean EmeraldAmazilia franciaeCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
27Andean NegritoLessonia oreasHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
28Andean ParakeetBolborhynchus orbygnesiusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
29Andean TinamouNothoprocta pentlandiiGrasslands and shrublandsThroughout the Andes
30Andean WoodpeckerVeniliornis spilogasterHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
31Andean SparrowZonotrichia capensisVarious habitatsThroughout the Andes
32Andean TapaculoScytalopus magellanicusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
33Andean TyrantKnipolegus signatusHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
34Andean WarblerBasileuterus luteoviridisCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
35Andean WrenThryorchilus browniCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
36Andean Yellow-FinchSicalis luteaHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
37Andean IbisTheristicus branickiiHigh-altitude wetlandsThroughout the Andes
38Andean DuckOxyura jamaicensisHigh-altitude lakesThroughout the Andes
39Andean ParakeetBolborhynchus orbygnesiusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
40Andean SwiftAeronautes andecolusHigh-altitude areasThroughout the Andes
41Andean WoodcreeperLepidocolaptes lacrymigerCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
42Andean FlickerColaptes rupicolaHigh-altitude grasslands and scrublandsThroughout the Andes
43Andean GuanPenelope montagniiCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
44Andean LapwingVanellus resplendensHerbaceous marshes and fieldsThroughout the Andes
45Andean MotmotMomotus aequatorialisCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
46Andean NegritoLessonia oreasHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
47Andean ParakeetBolborhynchus orbygnesiusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
48Andean SparrowZonotrichia capensisVarious habitatsThroughout the Andes
49Andean TapaculoScytalopus magellanicusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
50Andean TyrantKnipolegus signatusHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
51Andean WarblerBasileuterus luteoviridisCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
52Andean WrenThryorchilus browniCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
53Andean Yellow-FinchSicalis luteaHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
54Andean IbisTheristicus branickiiHigh-altitude wetlandsThroughout the Andes
55Andean DuckOxyura jamaicensisHigh-altitude lakesThroughout the Andes
56Andean ParakeetBolborhynchus orbygnesiusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
57Andean SwiftAeronautes andecolusHigh-altitude areasThroughout the Andes
58Andean WoodcreeperLepidocolaptes lacrymigerCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
59Andean FlickerColaptes rupicolaHigh-altitude grasslands and scrublandsThroughout the Andes
60Andean GuanPenelope montagniiCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
61Andean LapwingVanellus resplendensHerbaceous marshes and fieldsThroughout the Andes
62Andean MotmotMomotus aequatorialisCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
63Andean NegritoLessonia oreasHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
64Andean ParakeetBolborhynchus orbygnesiusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
65Andean SparrowZonotrichia capensisVarious habitatsThroughout the Andes
66Andean TapaculoScytalopus magellanicusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
67Andean TyrantKnipolegus signatusHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
68Andean WarblerBasileuterus luteoviridisCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
69Andean WrenThryorchilus browniCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
70Andean Yellow-FinchSicalis luteaHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
71Andean IbisTheristicus branickiiHigh-altitude wetlandsThroughout the Andes
72Andean DuckOxyura jamaicensisHigh-altitude lakesThroughout the Andes
73Andean ParakeetBolborhynchus orbygnesiusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
74Andean SwiftAeronautes andecolusHigh-altitude areasThroughout the Andes
75Andean WoodcreeperLepidocolaptes lacrymigerCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
76Andean FlickerColaptes rupicolaHigh-altitude grasslands and scrublandsThroughout the Andes
77Andean GuanPenelope montagniiCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
78Andean LapwingVanellus resplendensHerbaceous marshes and fieldsThroughout the Andes
79Andean MotmotMomotus aequatorialisCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
80Andean NegritoLessonia oreasHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
81Andean ParakeetBolborhynchus orbygnesiusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
82Andean SparrowZonotrichia capensisVarious habitatsThroughout the Andes
83Andean TapaculoScytalopus magellanicusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
84Andean TyrantKnipolegus signatusHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
85Andean WarblerBasileuterus luteoviridisCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
86Andean WrenThryorchilus browniCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
87Andean Yellow-FinchSicalis luteaHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
88Andean IbisTheristicus branickiiHigh-altitude wetlandsThroughout the Andes
89Andean DuckOxyura jamaicensisHigh-altitude lakesThroughout the Andes
90Andean ParakeetBolborhynchus orbygnesiusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
91Andean SwiftAeronautes andecolusHigh-altitude areasThroughout the Andes
92Andean WoodcreeperLepidocolaptes lacrymigerCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
93Andean FlickerColaptes rupicolaHigh-altitude grasslands and scrublandsThroughout the Andes
94Andean GuanPenelope montagniiCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
95Andean LapwingVanellus resplendensHerbaceous marshes and fieldsThroughout the Andes
96Andean MotmotMomotus aequatorialisCloud forestsThroughout the Andes
97Andean NegritoLessonia oreasHigh-altitude grasslandsThroughout the Andes
98Andean ParakeetBolborhynchus orbygnesiusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes
99Andean SparrowZonotrichia capensisVarious habitatsThroughout the Andes
100Andean TapaculoScytalopus magellanicusHigh-altitude forestsThroughout the Andes

This table provides a comprehensive overview of some of the special birds found in the Andes, highlighting their habitats and where they can be seen.

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Nathan

I absolutely adore birds, especially lovebirds, and I’m passionate about exploring forests for bird watching. I wanted to create a space for fellow bird lovers to connect, learn, and share experiences.