Pelagic Trips to the Humboldt Current

Introduction

Departing from Quintero (45 km / 27 mi North of Valparaiso), we head offshore to meet the cold waters of the Humboldt Current, considered to be one of the world's finest pelagic birding locations. We will look for species which are endemic to this system such as Humboldt Penguin, Peruvian Diving-Petrel, Peruvian Booby, Guanay & Red-legged Cormorants, Peruvian Pelican, Grey Gull and Inca Tern. We´ll also see birds like: Northern Royal, Black-browed & Salvin´s Albatross, Northern & Southern Giant-Petrels, White-chinned & Westland Petrels, Pink-footed & Sooty Shearwaters, Wilson´s (Fuegian) Storm-Petrel and Chilean Skua, among others. With a little bit of luck we might spot Magellanic Penguin, Wandering, Antipodean, Southern Royal, Chatham & Buller's Albatross, Southern Fulmar, Cape, Juan Fernandez & Masatierra Petrels, among other birds. Chance to see whales, dolphins, South American Sea Lion and Marine Otter. 

Departures

Next Scheduled Pelagic Trips off Quintero, Valparaiso. Season 2020-2021:

- December 19th

- January: 16th

- February: 20th

- March: 20th

- April 24th

- May 22nd

- June 26th

- July 31st

- August 28th

- September 24th

Custom private pelagics on request.

Price

150 US Dollars per person. Includes chum for the birds, English-speaking Ornithologist and Birding Guide, coffee or tea and snacks for each birder.

Meet and depart

Quintero. *We can arrange pick-up in Valparaiso or Viña del Mar.

Dates:

From Sat Dec 19,2020 To Sat Dec 19,2020

5 to 6-hour Trip

Our pelagic trips are some of the most thrilling and rewarding experiences for the birder looking for a wide variety of pelagic seabirds. Departing from the bay of Quintero in the Central Chilean coast, we head due West to meet the cold and rich waters of the Humboldt Current, a stream that runs from South to North along the Pacific coast of South America and is one of the top areas for pelagic birding in the World. Due to its extraordinary abundance of nutrients it is one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth, supporting an incredibly huge biomass with more than forty species of seabirds, several of which are endemic to these waters. We´ll spend six hours cruising and searching offshore, enjoying unique, close views of these and other pelagic birds, while our guides share their experience and knowledge of them, so you get the most out of the journey. Our boat has room for twenty birders seated, with enough space for everyone to have a clear, unblocked view of the sea in every direction.

About the Birds: Some of the trip highlights are several Humboldt Current endemics, like Humboldt Penguin, Peruvian Diving-Petrel, Guanay & Red-legged Cormorants, Peruvian Booby, Peruvian Pelican, Gray Gull, Inca Tern, the breeding endemic Pink-footed Shearwater and several Pterodroma Gadfly Petrels from South-eastern Pacific islands, the Masatierra Petrel and the breeding endemic Juan Fernandez Petrel among them. Circumpolar subantarctic & patagonian voyagers or transequatorial migrants like Magellanic Penguin, Wandering & Black-browed Albatross, Southern & Northern Giant-Petrel, Southern Fulmar, Cape & White-chinned Petrel, Sooty Shearwater, Wilson´s (Fuegian) Storm-Petrel, Red Phalarope and Chilean Skua are present most of the year.

Besides from the year-round residents, many seabirds venture and wander into the Humboldt Current from different corners of the globe, at different times of the year, and for different reasons; some of them come from antarctic and subantarctic waters at the end of summer on their way to the northern Pacific, and others come throughout the year from remote islands of the western Pacific and southeastern Indian oceans in incredibly extense foraging trips, to feast off the Chilean coast on squid, fish and shrimp that thrive in these seas. Frequent visitors from the New Zeland area like Southern & Northern Royal, Salvin´s, Chatham & Buller´s Albatross and Westland Petrel are also regulary recorded.

Often some other birds roam in from equatorial and tropical Pacific waters, like Blue-footed Booby, Red-billed Tropicbird, Swallow-tailed & Sabin´s Gull, both of which have been recorded in our trips. Other rare visitors spotted during our trips include Waved, White-capped, Antipodean, Grey-headed & Light-mantled Albatross, Great, Buller´s, Subantarctic, Little & Manx Shearwaters, Slender-billed Prion, White-vented & Markham´s Storm-Petrels, South Polar Skua, Parasitic & Pomarine Jaegers.

About the marine mammals: During our trips we have seen and recorded: Blue, Fin, Humpback, Sei & Sperm Whales, Bottlenose, Dusky, Risso´s & Southern Right Whale Dolphins, Long-finned & Short-finned Pilot Whales, Orca, South American & Juan Fernandez Fur Seals, South American Sea Lion and Marine Otter.

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