Individuals are year-round residents with a range restricted to southern South America, from Linares (Maule)-Chile, and western Neuquén-Argentina, south to Tierra del Fuego and adjacent islands (35–56° S; Short 1970). Altitudinal range extends from sea level up to 2000 m (6,000 ft) in the northernmost part of its range. The species is endemic to the austral temperate forest, which follows the distribution of the Nothofagus forest on both sides of the Andes.
Distribution outside the Americas
This species is not found outside the Americas.
The species inhabits mostly old-growth, mature, pure or mixed Nothofagus spp. forests in Chile and Argentina (Short 1970).
However, it can be found inhabiting second growth forest and in managed forests. In the case of burnt areas, the woodpeckers can feed off larvae soon after the fire, but not much longer when the trees further decay, and thus birds vacate the area. The species feeds mostly on native trees, although some records indicate that the woodpeckers would use exotic trees such as dead pines or birches for sap.
The species has been affected by the reduction of forest cover, having disappeared from a great part of its original geographic range, especially in the northern and central parts of its distribution in Chile (Glade 1993). In the VI, VII y VIII Chile regions the species is considered as endangered (Glade 1993, see Conservation Status). There are almost no records regarding its current distribution in the north limit of its Chilean range.
Chazarreta, M. L. and V. Ojeda (2011). Magellanic Woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.magwoo1.01