South America

Sword-billed Hummingbird Ensifera ensifera ©Steve Blain Website
Birding South America

South America is the continent with countries boasting the biggest lists of avifauna… and, in part, it is still wild enough to be turning up new species. From The High Andes with human settlements higher than anywhere else to the river deltas and coastal mangroves, cloud forest and rainforest, desert and pampas the habitat ranges are also as diverse as anywhere on earth.

From the tiny hummingbirds to the giant condors and rheas South America has enough birds in every ecological niche to excite birders everywhere.

However, whilst South America has the most diverse avifauna and an incredible range of habitat offering such a wealth of potential to any naturalist it is also a great cause for concern. Rampant logging, slash and burn agriculture, insensitive development and inappropriate mining techniques are doing their best to lay huge areas waste. Some of the most pressing challenges for conservation are right here. Whilst species of birds are still being discovered many more hover on the edge of extinction.

This page is sponsored by Rockjumper Birding Tours

This page is sponsored by Birding Ecotours

This page is sponsored by Albatross Birding and Nature Tours

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 3476

    As at November 2016
Useful Reading

  • Birds of Northern South America, Volume 1 and Volume 2

    | By Robin Restall, Clemencia Rodner & Miguel Lentino | Christopher Helm | 2006 | Paperback | ISBN: 9780713660265 Buy this book from
  • Birds of South America: Passerines

    | By Robert S Ridgely & Guy Tudor | Christopher Helm | 2009 | Paperback | 750 pages, colour plates, colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9781408113424 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica

    | By Martín R de la Peña & Maurice Rumboll | Princeton UP | 2001 | Paperback | 304 pages, 97 plates with colour illustrations, 5 plates with b/w illustrations; b/w illustrations, 1000+ b/w distribution maps | ISBN: 9780691090351 Buy this book from
  • Collins Field Guide to the Birds of South America: Non-Passerines

    | (Non-Passerines, from Rheas to Woodpeckers) | By Jorge R Roderiguez Mata, Francisco Erize & Maurice Rumboll | Harper Collins | 2006 | Hardnack | 384 pages, 156 colour plates, 1270 Distribution Maps | ISBN: 9780007150847 Buy this book from
  • Illustrated Checklist: Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica

    | By Martin de la Pena & Maurice Rumboll | HarperCollins | 1998 | Paperback | 304 Pages, 97 Colour Plates, Maps | ISBN: 9780002200776 Buy this book from
  • Where to Watch Birds in South America

    | By Nigel Wheatley | Helm | 1994 | Paperback | 431 pages | ISBN: 9780713639094 Buy this book from
Birding Aps
  • *Individual Country Bird Apps

    See Individual Country pages for apps relating to just that Country

  • All Birds Northern South America

    Apple iOS |
    | a field guide to all the species recorded in Ecuador, Colombia, Guiana, Peru, Venezuela | Mullen & Pohland GbR | Sunbird Apps |

    This mobile field guide includes all 2,311 bird species found in the Northern part of South America
Useful Information
  • BirdPlanner is a free site that enables you to generate bird lists for any place in the western hemisphere
  • Neotropical Birds Neotropical Birds Online is an authoritative, online resource for life histories of Neotropical birds. These accounts are intended primarily for ornithologists, especially those based in the Neotropics, but also will prove useful to wildlife biologists, conservationists, amateur ornithologists with strong interests in avian natural history, and biology teachers and students. Neotropical Birds Online is available free of charge. The scope of Neotropical Birds Online is all bird species that regularly occur in the Neotropics, from Mexico and the Caribbean south to southernmost South America. The emphasis is on species that breed within this region, but the eventual goal is to provide accounts for all species that regularly occur within this region
  • Neotropical Bird Club

    Since 1994 Neotropical Bird Club, which is UK registered charity 1040130, has attracted over 900 members in 50 countries. Membership is open to all who have an interest in the wild birds of the New World tropics and their conservation.
  • Neotropical Migrant Birds

    Neotropical migrant birds are the songbirds that represent over 50%, more precisely, 340 of the 600 species, of North American birds
  • Optics for the tropics

    Optics for the Tropics, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charity organization providing quality optical equipment in the Caribbean and Latin America where resources are very limited. We distribute equipment to ornithologists and educators working to further bird conservation
Sightings, News & Forums

    Mailing List
    South AmericaNeotropical birds [Espa
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    Birding Ecotours aims to provide world-wide birding experiences of superb quality, while contributing to environmental conservation and disadvantaged communities. Please contact us for detailed information, queries and quotations as we are happy to help you in every aspect of planning your birding holiday.
  • Clark Expeditions

    Tour Operator
    Birdwatching, Natural-History, Adventure and Wildlife Expeditions - We are a small tour-company with main office in Salta province, in the Andean North of our country. Totally devoted to the Ecotourism and Nature-based Expeditions, our programs include Wildlife Safaris to the National Parks, Trekking and Natural-History Tours, all over northern Argentina. We specialise in Birdwatching Tours, which we operate at the highest quality throughout southern South America including some of the most important areas often with the most difficult access, in the Paraguayan Chaco, the Brazilian Pantanal, the Amazonian and Yungas forests of Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. We cater to both, individuals with tailor-made itineraries and groups being operated by overseas companies.
  • Kolibri Expeditions

    Tour Operator
    Kolibri Expeditions provides birding trips to all corners of South America. We are based in Lima, Peru. General Director is Gunnar Engblom, a well known tour leader and bird guide
  • Lost World Adventures

    Tour Operator
    Lost World Adventures arranges specialised tours and expeditions in South America and other exotic New World destinations. Our company was founded in 1986, when we pioneered our first adventure trips into Venezuela. We now arrange travel throughout Latin America, including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Galapagos Islands, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Argentina.
  • Manu Expeditions

    Tour Operator
    Our bird watching trips are lead by very experienced neo-tropical ornithologists. we pride ourselves on the quality of our leaders and support staff, not to mention our office staff in Cusco that make things work.
  • Rainforest Cruises

    ...are a travel company that specialises in Amazon river tours and Galapagos cruises
  • Rockjumper

    Tour Operator
Places to Stay
  • Ecotourism in America

    This is a website entirely devoted to nature based travel in the Americas. Here you can find a detailed description of each establishment organized by name, country or activity
Other Links
  • InfoNatura

    Welcome to InfoNatura, a source for conservation information on the birds and mammals of Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Xeno-canto

    Xeno-canto hosts over 1400 species from Colombia, Peru and Brazil, over 1300 from Ecuador, over 1200 from Bolivia and more than 1100 from Venezuela
  • Aves de Los Andes

    Ecology, biology & photography of the birds of the Andes - Argentine, Chile, Bolivia & Per
Photographers & Artists
  • Lee Dingain's Photostream

    Several of my friends have mentioned that they've never seen the photos I take on my travels, so in response I've decided to set up a Flickr account. So far I've only created a few photo sets (all of South America), with the Galapagos being the most complete set, but I'll be adding many more photos over the next few days and weeks

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

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