A Guide to South America’s Most Remarkable Birds

South America is famous for its great variety of vibrant wildlife. From the Amazon Rainforests to the mountains of the Andes, it is home to all kinds of interesting fauna.  Here is a guide to some of the continent’s most remarkable birds.   

Toco Toucan

This is probably the most famous South American bird. Found in the rainforests of South and Central America, the Toco Toucan is easily recognizable as it sports a beautifully multi-colored beak that takes up a third of its entire length.

Andean Condor

The Andean Condor is another contender for the most famous bird of South America.  With a wingspan of 3 meters, this magisterial creature is one of the world’s deadliest predators. 

Hyacinth Macaw

A beautiful parrot with navy blue plumage and shrewd yellow eyes, the Hyacinth Macaw is one of the continent’s most striking birds. Unfortunately, because it is one of the most popular pet parrots in South America, and is hunted by the Kayapo Indian tribe for its sapphire feathers, it is highly endangered. 

Scarlet-banded Barbet

One of the rarest birds in South America, the elusive Scarlet-banded Barbet should be on any traveling bird watchers list. Only discovered in the 1990s, the bird can only be found in a remote area of the highland forest in Peru.  

King Penguin

Second in size only to the Emperor, the King penguin is distinguished by attractive orange markings on the neck. It is to be found at the continent’s southernmost tip.