|A: Isla Chiloé, B: Santiago / Valle del Yeso, C: Arica / Lauca NP|
|The view down the Valley|
Afterwards, we'll be heading back to Santiago, giving a quick presentation...in Spanish (i.e. the foreign language that none of us really knows...it's good for stories though, and as you can see, I'm preemptively milking it for all its worth). We'll then be camping a few nights in the El Yeso Valley, at about 9,000 feet. Here we officially embark on a video/audio expedition for the Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library, where we'll be joining a field crew studying Diademed Sandpiper-plovers to intimately document this species' breeding biology and spectacular bofedal habitat (high elevation cushion bogs).
From there, we'll grab a 1:00AM flight a little over 1,000 miles north to Arica, near the Peruvian border. We'll be driving east from there, toward Lauca National Park, abutting Bolivia. The snowy cone of the Parinacota Volcano dominates this barren landscape, jutting almost 20,000 feet above sea level, but we'll be after the flamingoes, sierra-finches, and ground-tyrants populating the foreground.
|Volcán Parinacota and Lago Chungará, the highest lake in the world.|
After a quick jaunt back to Santiago for another long series of flights back to the Not-so-birdy Continent, we'll get a chance to sleep before classes start again! So stay tuned for updates from the field and hopefully many photos and videos to show for it.