Thursday, 26 January 2012

Magellanic tapaculo

Scytalopus magellanicus

Photo by Jose Cañas (Flickriver)

Common name:
Magellanic tapaculo (en); tapaculo-de-Magalhães (pt); mérulaxe des Andes (fr); churrín del sur (es); Magellantapaculo (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Rhinocryptidae

This South American species is found from central Chile and western Argentina, south to Tierra del Fuego.

These birds are 10-12 cm long and weigh 11-15 g.

Magellanic tapaculos are found in densely vegetated areas, including moist forests, temperate forests, dry grasslands and scrublands, often near water and along rivers and streams. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 3.500 m.

These birds are insectivorous, taking various small insects that they find on or near the ground.

The Magellanic tapaculo breeds in September-February. They build a domed nest made of moss, lichens and root fibres, that is placed in an tunnel excavated into sandy bank or wall. There the female lays 2-3 white eggs which are incubated for 19 days. The chicks fledge 11 days after hatching. Each pair may raise 2-3 broods per season.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as generally common to fairly common. There is no information regarding population trends.

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