Ted Turner's estate in Patagonia, Argentina

Published by Susan Rhein (suerhein151 AT aol.com)

Participants: Susan Rhein et al


Watching a wild flock of outrageously colored parrots against a backdrop of the spectacular Andean mountains takes your breath away. But one doesn’t mind. Everything about a recent birding excursion to the Patagonia region in Argentina was a first for me.

Flying to South America, birding within avian rich environments, traveling off-road among the large, flightless rhea, and sampling culture, customs and costumes!

A guide is imperative. My idea of “the perfect birding guide” speaks English fluently, is a licensed biologist, prefers bird study as opposed to bird counting, tailors outings to client interests, has access to exclusive sites and is a recognized steward of the environment.

Florencia Mancini of Aves Patagonia met these criteria with panache. Our party of just three from Kalispell, Montana felt at home among soaring mountain ranges, big skies, and nature galore! Shy Black-necked Swans, noisy Burrowing Parrots, awesome Austral Flamingos and, of course, Andean Condors were a few of many birds we observed that proved we weren’t in Montana anymore.

Florencia guided us to sites at times that would ensure peak observation opportunities. While sighting feathered aviators, we also took note of wild land trekkers to include armadillo, wild boar, rhea and the alpaca-like guanaco.

Absolutely everything provided for by Aves Patagonia was first class. Lodging at Ted Turners Estancia Collon Cura is a good example. This extensive property offered some exclusive options for viewing some species.

Mr. Turner’s property is managed in an economically sustainable and ecologically sensitive manner while promoting the conservation of native species.

It was our pleasure to meet Mr. Turner by chance at his Collon Cura estancia.

Indigenous foods, wine and culture rounded out this lifetime experience. Florencia ensured there was plenty of all. This birding experience in Argentina may be my first time, but not the last.