Horns of Paine Mountains and Chilean Flamingos, By Ben Hall, Hazel Grove, Cheshire, England, UK

Horns of Paine Mountains
and Chilean Flamingos

Phoenicopterus chilensis

Learn more about Phoenicopterus chilensis from the Encyclopedia of Life

Encyclopedia of Life

Torres Del Paine,
National Park, Chile
By Ben Hall
Hazel Grove, Cheshire, England, UK

Ben Hall

Chilling winds from Antarctica roar off the Southern Continental Icefield, frequently causing these mountain passes to be shrouded with dense clouds. Chilean flamingos inhabit the shallow lakes of South America, from the coast of central Peru south to the 14,000-foot altitudes of the Andes in Tierra del Fuego. These birds withstand fierce conditions en route to feeding grounds in Argentina. The flamingos communicate with each other by making loud, deep honking or howling sounds.

“My reward after climbing high into Patagonia was this juxtaposition of graceful, pink flamingos against the menacing sky, severe hanging glaciers, and soaring granite spires of the Horns of Paine. I wanted to photograph the high elevations at eye level and the trek up into the mountains required much planning to battle the elements. The birds had been feeding on a dried lakebed nearby when part of the flock took to the sky and circled overhead. I fired off a sequence of shots in an attempt to show the relationship between the birds and their spectacular, wild habitat.” —BH

Canon EOS-1D Mark II; 100-400mm L IS lens; 1/2000 sec at ƒ/5.6; ISO 160; hand-held.