Magellanic Woodpecker

November 14, 2010


Photographer: Mario Freitas
Summary Author: Mario Freitas

The lucky observation registered above depicts the silhouette of the southernmost species of Genus Campephilus, better known as the Magellanic Woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus). As shown here, it’s resting for a brief moment on a high branch of a southern beech (Genus Nothofagus) in Tierra del Fuego National Park, near Ushuaia, Argentina. This attention getting woodpecker was likely first noted by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1520.

Though there’s been a progressive population decrease of this species, it is not currently threatened. Magellanic Woodpeckers inhabit mature Nothofagus forests, feeding on fruits, larvae and insects and small vertebrates such as lizards. When I heard a loud double-knock drumming followed by a “keé-yew” nasal call, it made me think of Charles Darwin’s words when he visited Tierra del Fuego in 1832/33 “... and more rarely the loud strange cry of a black woodpecker, with a fine scarlet crest on its head.” Photo taken on December 28, 2009.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon PowerShot A710 IS; Focal Length: 34.8mm; Aperture: f/4.8; Exposure Time: 0.0008 s (1/1250); Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (Auto); Color Space: sRGB.