While the Vicuñas, Llamas and Alpacas tend to show up on most tourist photos, there is actually a large amount of other creatures living in the Altiplano.
Most of the birds are found in the wetlands. There are two types of wetlands: Hydric and Mesic:
- Hydric – has water permanently
- Mesic – has water sporadically and salinity can be observed
The smallish birds that are most often seen are: buff-winged cinclodes, slender-beaked finch, black-hooded sierra finch and Puna ground-tyrant.
I managed to spot a small group of 4 or so of these large ostrich-like birds on the side of the road. Had to use my zoom lens to capture this photo. They are very skittish and we had to be super quiet.
Vizchacha = Bunny Rabbits with attitude.
They eat vegetation mainly from the wetlands. We found a huge amount of Vizchacha in the “Las Cueves / Chañacaca” area which is made up of a collection of several overhanging rock caves located in the middle of a wetland area.
In this area, people have found evidence of occupation of small groups of humans from 9000 to 1000 years ago. Evidence such as stone, wooden, and bone tools. This may have been a resting place for people traveling to/from the coast.
They have a comical facial expression as if to say “I am sitting here and I don’t care who knows it”
Our bird guide:
This guy visited us at one of the rest stops, but I am not sure on the species.
These two were busy making a nest – maybe Moor-hens?
I did see a bumble bee on this flower, but didn’t get my camera out in time so you can just take my word for it. The bee was huge (width of my thumb).
Didn’t see any condors this time – another good reason to return some day in the future.
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