- Magellanic Tapaculo
 - Magellanic Tapaculo
 - Magellanic Tapaculo
 - Magellanic Tapaculo

Magellanic Tapaculo Scytalopus magellanicus Scientific name definitions

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

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"Millenary bird that begins telling the time from dawn, at morning, at noon and at sunset. His song tells the time in tune with nature, cosmovision, universe and the rest, the great Cordillera, plains, rivers, lakes, volcanoes and seas, the great spirit and the four guardians who take care of the Mapuche world as 'Earthly Paradise'"... (poem modified from Aillapan and Rozzi 2001) (1)

Endemic to the temperate rainforest of Chile and Argentina, the Magellanic Tapaculo is the southernmost member of the Scytalopus genus of tapaculos. It is closely related to the Dusky Tapaculo (Scytalopus fuscus), which was formerly treated as a subspecies of the Magellanic Tapaculo. The two species are almost entirely allopatric, but do overlap in a few areas. Unlike other members of the genus, its natural history is moderately known, although a wide information gap still exists related to its reproductive behavior and other aspects of its natural history.

Similar to other members of the Scytalopus species, the dark plumage is sometimes slightly lighter than in Dusky Tapaculo, but differences in vocalizations are the main way of differentiating both species, especially in the few places where both species are sympatric. Magellanic Tapaculo can be located by their loud and repetitive pa-tra pa-tra pa-tra pa-tra vocalization. Some individuals also have a characteristic white crown that is not present in the Dusky Tapaculo.

Magellanic Tapaculo lives mostly in temperate rainforests at lower elevations, where they stay hidden inside Chusquea bamboo, close to moist draws or creeks within or at the edge of the forest. There are also there are highland populations above 2,000 m in the central Andes of Chile and Argentina.

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