Magellanic Plover - Pluvianellus socialis - Chorlo de Magallanes
I've tried to move beyond the concept of "target birds", but I really wanted to see this beautiful species on our trip - not an easy task given the superb camouflage demonstrated above!
One of the factors making it such a sought after bird is that they inhabit a remote and challenging part of the world - mythical Tierra del Fuego. Additionally, there are not that many of them. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates the total population as between 1,500 and 7,000 adult individuals.
They are also a bit of a taxonomic mystery. Once accepted with plovers in the family Charadriidae, recent work suggests they are more closely related to the antarctic sheathbills. Some authorities now recognize the species as belonging to its own unique family, the Pluvianellidae. Whatever the case, it was a privilege to see, study and photograph this amazing bird.
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