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Campephilus magellanicus

Magellanic Woodpecker

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Chazarreta, M. L., and V. Ojeda

Campephilus magellanicus

Nahual Huapi National Park, Patagonia, Argentina; 14 September 2009 © Martjan Lammertink

Although there are woodpeckers throughout most of the Neotropics, perhaps none is as awe-inspiring as the Magellanic Woodpecker, which is an endemic species of the austral temperate forest. The large size, simple and elegant color pattern, as well as the curly and expressive crest of the female strongly suggest the extinct or nearly extinct Imperial (Campephilus imperialis) and Ivory-billed (C. principalis) woodpeckers. Magellanic Woodpeckers make their presence known with a loud double drum "ta-dap!" that carries for a long distance in the old-growth, moss-laden temperate forests that they inhabit in Chile and Argentina. Other vocalization include various nasal notes, both soft and loud. Often the Magellanic Woodpecker is found in pairs or family groups of three and sometimes four individuals; the third and fourth birds are young of previous years and different ages, since these woodpeckers produce only one nestling per breeding season. Magellanic Woodpeckers have a large home-range, making them rather hard to find in the field.

Recommended Citation

Chazarreta, M. L., and V. Ojeda. 2011. Magellanic Woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Southern temperate forest
  • Foraging Strata:Understory/Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:Peck
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Cavity
  • Clutch: 1 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern