This incredible region covers almost half of Argentina's territory, and is one of the most famous and pristine parts of South America. It's name is not related to any particular habitat, and it includes very different ecoregions, from the semi-arid Patagonian stepp and Monte desert, to the humid Patagonian forest.
Patagonia is shared by Argentina and Chile, countries divided by the great Andes range. To the east, the Patagonian sea is part of the South-west Atlantic Ocean. The west coast (in Chile) is washed by the Pacific Ocean. Some of the most spectacular South American landscapes are found within its boundaries. Although its biodiversity is not as high as in warmer parts of the continent, most of the Patagonian species of flora and fauna are only found here, and this is specially true for its birds.
From east to west, birds diversity in Patagonia is full of specialties: the Atlantic coast with the endemic Chubut (White-headed) Steamer-Duck, the ubiquitous Snowy Sheathbill, and the huge breeding colonies of Magellanic Penguin and Burrowing Parakeet; the Patagonian stepp that gives refuge to birds such as Lesser Rhea, Patagonian Tinamou, Chocolate-vented Tyrant, Band-tailed Earthcreeper and (in its lagoons) the endangered Hooded Grebe and the rare Magellanic Plover; the Monte desert with many Argentine endemics such as Sandy Gallito, Patagonian Canastero, Carbonated Sierra-Finch, White-throated Cacholote and Rusty-backed Monjita; the Patagonian forest with species such as Magellanic Woodpecker, Chucao Tapaculo, Black-throated Huet-huet, Rufous-tailed Hawk and Des Mur's Wiretail; the Andes peaks with the majestic Andean Condor, White-bellied Seedsnipe and Yellow-bridled Finch; and the Pacific coast with Kelp Goose and Flightless Steamer-Duck, apart from a big diversity of migratory waders.
In addition to the birds, Patagonian mammal fauna is very remarkable. The large Southern Right Whales which find refuge in the northeast Patagonian gulfs; packs of Orcas (or "killer whales") famous for their unique hunting strategy of stranding themselves on the beach to take South American Sea Lions and Southern Elephant Seals (other two great marine mammals found in the area); many species of dolphins including Dusky, Commerson's, Peale's and Chilean; and the rare Marine Otter, just to quote some examples. Land mammals are also striking such as Guanaco (wild ancestor of the lamas), Mara, Gray and Culpeo foxes, and the powerful Puma, which has in Patagonia some of the best spots to see them in the wild.