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New Photos: Patagonia 2023

At the beginning of this month I returned to southern Chile to lead the latest edition of my Pumas of Patagonia tour. While I would normally wait to space these tours out every couple years, there was sufficient demand for me to do another one following last year’s trip. And why not? This remains one of the most exciting wildlife experiences I offer in my entire tour slate. This year’s group was filled with “first timers” (it’s rare for me to not have past clients on a trip these days), and they were in for a real treat.

It really was a fantastic experience, and not just because of the fun, enthusiastic attitude my group brought to Chile this year. We had some really good cat encounters, featuring a variety of cats (17 individuals) exhibiting a lot of cool behavior. As it turned out, we didn’t photograph as much on the non-puma front, but the sheer volume of good puma encounters didn’t really give us time to think about that.

As always, you can jump straight to the full photo gallery to view all of the images. A short preview follows.

Puma and Guanacos

Our puma trek started with not one, but two pumas, the first of which walked within meters of the group!

Puma and Towers of Paine

Not a bad way to start our puma adventures!

Puma Burying Carcass

A puma does its best to cover up a guanaco carcass, in an attempt to avoid detection by other cats or scavengers. There’s not much vegetation around to effectively cover up such prizes, however.


This was an extremely fruitful trip when it came to documenting pumas exhibiting different behavior. We saw 17 individual cats during the course of our week in Patagonia.

Austral Parakeet

The world’s southernmost parrot species, the Austral Parakeet, isn’t something I see too often on these trips.


We witnessed a number of instances of interesting social behavior between cats, from siblings, to mothers and cubs, to pumas from different families. Here, a mother lavishes a bit too much attention on her daughter.


Guanacos are one of the most photogenic species in Chilean Patagonia.


Torres del Paine is perhaps more famous for its landscapes than its wildlife. Both the Towers and Horns of Paine are often photographed at sunrise. This shot was taken from the site of our hotel!


We enjoyed an amazing “Puma Walk” with this family, consisting of a one-eyed mother and her two big cubs. The gray is her large son, while her daughter sported Mom’s golden fur.

Male Puma

Following the amazing Puma Walk, we were surprised by the arrival of “The Dark” (Oscuro), the dominant male puma in this region.

Male Puma

I had not seen this big boy in six years, and he looks as huge and intimidating as ever!

Austral Pygmy-Owl

We landed four different pygmy owls in a short span later in the trip.

Magellanic Woodpecker

This was a major highlight for me. I had not seen a Magellanic Woodpecker since my very first Patagonia visit thirteen years prior. And once again I got to see the female of the species, my all-time favorite woodpecker!

Puma Family

Our final morning began with seven(!) pumas from three separate families hanging out in the same area. Here is a family portrait of a mother (right) and her two cubs.


The family proceeded to offer up a wonderful backlit photo session.


This beautiful gray female is a cat I first saw in 2019. She’s grown into a beautiful mother, and is actually becoming more brown as she ages.

View the full Patagonia 2023 gallery. (88 images)

Interested in joining my next Patagonia adventure? It’s taking place in May of 2025! Learn more here.


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