Magellanic Tapaculo Scytalopus magellanicus Scientific name definitions

Vicente Pantoja and César Muñoz
Version: 2.0 — Published January 13, 2023



Magellanic Tapaculo occurs in Chile from the central Andes to Cape Horn, and in Argentina from the central Andes to Tierra del Fuego. It is probably extinct in the Falkland Islands, where it used to be resident (35, 36, 37, 38)

The current range of the species comprises a continuous distribution along the Andes from Valparaiso to Ñuble, with a broader range from the Andes to the coast from Biobío to Cape Horn. There are additional records from some valleys and coastal regions between Valparaíso to Ñuble (eBird). There are also some records in the Central Andes from Coquimbo and Atacama, suggesting that the Andean population may have a larger distribution; alternatively, some authors (8, 9, 14) suggested that populations from the Central Andes could even represent a separate species, though more work is needed to clarify the status of these birds. It typically occurs from sea level to 3,000 m (9, 8), but recent studies have found it occurs up to 3,500 m (39). The highest records are from the northern portion of its distribution in the Andes.

It is sympatric with Dusky Tapaculo in Zapallar forests (6), between the Bío-Bío river to Valdivia (16, 40, 41), and in Nahuelbuta National Park (42). It is also highly likely that these two species occur sympatrically at other localities that have yet to be identified.

Historical Changes to the Distribution

Its distribution does not appear to be changing; however, it has likely disappeared from some areas based on historical records. For example, it no longer appears to occur in Puerto Williams on Navarino Island or the Falkland Islands based on recent searches (38, 43). It has also likely disappeared from some other areas where the original vegetation was replaced by urban development, forestry, and agriculture, and in places where rivers or creeks used to have water throughout the year but now only have water during rainy months.

Distribution of the Magellanic Tapaculo - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Magellanic Tapaculo

Recommended Citation

Pantoja, V. and C. Muñoz (2023). Magellanic Tapaculo (Scytalopus magellanicus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.magtap1.02