Magellanic Tapaculo Scytalopus magellanicus Scientific name definitions

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

Diet and Foraging


Microhabitat for Foraging

Forages for prey in the litter of the understory, in lower branches, and in soil (5, 48). It can search for invertebrates along creeks, under rocks, and in wet mud. When it rains, it is more active in search of food (53). It has been reported at 12.3 m height in Nothofagus dombeyi tree (49).

Food Capture and Consumption

Like other species of tapaculo, Magellanic Tapaculo searches for prey in the leaf litter of the understory, using its feet (5); it also gleans insects from leaves and branches inside shrubs and lower vegetation, as described for other species of the genera like Spillmann's Tapaculo (Scytalopus spillmanni) (54).


Major Food Items

It feeds on a variety of insects such as the larvae and adults of Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Formicidae, Apidae, and other arthropods (arachnids and myriapods) and annelids (53, 18, 9). It most likely eats other small arthropods and some berries, as do other Chilean forest tapaculos (55). In Cape Horn during the winter, it feeds almost exclusively on beetles (Coleoptera) (56, 57). Other related Scytalopus have been rarely found with vegetable matter in their stomachs (22).

Food Selection and Storage

Information needed.

Nutrition and Energetics

Information needed.

Metabolism and Temperature Regulation

Information needed.

Drinking, Pellet-Casting, and Defecation

Information needed.

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