Magellanic tapaculo

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Magellanic tapaculo
Scytalopus magellanicus - Magellanic tapaculo.jpg
at Cerro Chapelco, San Martín de los Andes, Neuquén Province, Argentina
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Rhinocryptidae
Genus: Scytalopus
S. magellanicus
Binomial name
Scytalopus magellanicus
(Gmelin, 1789)

The Magellanic tapaculo (Scytalopus magellanicus) is a small passerine bird of southern South America. It belongs to the genus Scytalopus, a genus of tapaculos.


The species was often known as the Andean tapaculo in the past and included a number of subspecies distributed along the Andes. These are now treated as species in their own right, leaving the Magellanic tapaculo with no subspecies although birds in the north of its range are larger and darker and may deserve subspecies status.


It is a wren-like bird, 10 to 12 cm in length. The bill is slender and black while the legs are pinkish and fairly long. The tail is short and held erect. The plumage is dark-grey with a chestnut tinge to the flanks, undertail and wings. Some birds have a silvery-white patch on the crown. Juvenile birds are brown with dark barring and usually lack white on the crown. The song is loud, staccato and repetitive.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Its range extends northwards from Tierra del Fuego as far as Valparaíso Region in Chile and San Juan Province in Argentina. Charles Darwin collected a specimen in the Falkland Islands in 1833 or 1834 but there have been no definite records there since. It inhabits dense vegetation near ground-level in forest and woodland where it forages for insects. It often occurs near water and is commonly associated with stands of Chusquea bamboo.


It is terrestrial and prefers to run rather than fly.


The domed nest is made of moss, lichens and root-fibres. Two or three white eggs are laid.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Scytalopus magellanicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  • Jaramillo, Alvaro; Burke, Peter & Beadle, David (2003) Field Guide to the Birds of Chile, Christopher Helm, London
  • Woods, Robin W. (1988) Guide to Birds of the Falkland Islands, Anthony Nelson, Oswestry

External links[edit]