Readers’ wildlife photos

July 7, 2023 • 8:15 am

Keep sending in those photos, brothers and sisters, friends and comrades; I’m set for about a week, but that won’t last long! Today we have pictures from Susan Hoffman of a place I’ve been briefly, Chiloe Island off the coast of Chile. Susan’s captions are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

These pictures are from a trip we took to Chile last December. The first set is from Chiloé Island, at the northern edge of Patagonia.

JAC: I’ve put in a map from Google; the arrow is mine::

The western (Pacific) side of the island features strong onshore winds and very long beaches, with huge expanses of sand exposed at low tide:

Aquaculture (mostly of salmon) is a major industry in the region, and it is likely contributing to the significant algal blooms we saw along the inland waterways. This shot is from the east coast of Chiloé Island looking towards Volcan Chaiten:

A brown-hooded gull (Chroicocephalus maculipennis) walking along a beach on the eastern coast of Chiloe, near the town of Chonchi:

The black-necked swan (Cygnus melancoryphus) is common along the shoreline at many locations:

Three-meter-tall version of a black-necked swan outside a derelict café in Cucao, a small town on the west coast of Chiloé:

We went to Islotes de Puñihuil Natural Monument on the northwest coast of Chiloé, famous as the only place where both Humboldt (Spheniscus humboldti) and Magellanic (Spheniscus magellanicus) penguins breed. Due to the gusty winds and rough sea, we couldn’t get very close, but I had to include one penguin picture for Jerry’s sake. This picture shows how the nesting sites, which are on rocky islets just offshore, are on very steep and precarious-looking slopes. Most of the penguins shown are Magellanics—the one near the lower right might be a Humboldt, but it is too out of focus to tell for sure:

The beach at Puñihuil has some dramatic stone arches:

On the beach at Puñihuil were a pair of kelp geese (Chloephaga hybrida) watching over their two goslings, who were justifying their name by busily eating seaweed. The male is pure white, while the female is brown and white:

Closeup of the male kelp goose:

Closeup of the lovely female kelp goose:

6 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Stark beauty down there, I bet it’s brutal in the winter. All the birds were new to me (except the penguin), thanks for sharing!

  2. Seen under the highest magnification it seems the nostrils of the chicks of the kelp goose seem inordinately large. Any thoughts on this; maybe a reflection of the extra salt in their diet?

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