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Magellanic woodpecker

Campephilus magellanicus

Photo by Doug Kirwin (Woodpeckers of the World)

Common name:
Magellanic woodpecker (en); pica-pau-de-Magalhães (pt); pic de Magellan (fr); carpintero de Magallanes (es); Magellanspecht (de)

Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

This species is found in southern Chile and south-western Argentina, from Linares, Chile and Neuquén, Argentina to Tierra del Fuego.

These large woodpeckers are 36-45 cm long. Males tend to be larger, weighing 310-360 g while the females weigh 270-310 g.

The Magellanic woodpecker is mostly found in mature Nothofagus forests, but also use second growths and managed forests from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

They feed mainly on wood-boring larvae of Coleoptera and Lepidoptera, but also take adult insects, spiders, fruits, sap and occasionally small vertebrates such as lizards, bats and the eggs and fledglings of passerine birds.

Magellanic woodpeckers are monogamous and breed in October-January. The nest is a hole in a tree, excavated by both sexes, usually 9-12 m above the ground. The female lays 2 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for 15-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 45-50 days after hatching. The chicks stay with the family group for up to 2 years and may continue to be fed by the parents for up to 1 year after fledging.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as uncommon. The population is suspected to in decline owing to ongoing habitat loss and forests fires in the north of its range destroyed large areas of suitable habitat.

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