Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Least Concern

Magellanic Tapaculo (Scytalopus magellanicus)


French: Mérulaxe des Andes German: Magellantapaculo Spanish: Churrín magallánico

Motacilla magellanica

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Tierra del Fuego


Formerly treated as including S. griseicollis, S. altirostris, S. affinis, S. urubambae, S. simonsi, S. zimmeri, S. acutirostris, S. superciliaris, S. fuscus and S. canus; race fuscicauda of S. meridanus also sometimes included here. Studies have shown that present species differs vocally from all of these; occurs in sympatry with S. fuscus in C Chile (Valdivia to Bío Bío). Monotypic.


C Chile (from Ñuble and in Andes from Aconcagua) and W Argentina (Mendoza) S to Tierra del Fuego.

Descriptive notes

9·5 cm; 10·4–13·9 g, mean (Chiloé I) 11 g. Small, dark tapaculo. Male is largely dark grey, forecrown often silvery white or with white... read more


Song 0·3 seconds long, of 2 notes, first at 3–3·5 kHz, second 0·5 kHz... read more


Forest, shrubby bogs, along cart tracks and streams, forest edge, fields with slash piles, and... read more

Food and feeding

No information available.


Lays in Oct–Nov. Nest globular, built of root fibres, mosses and lichens, lined with slender grass or horse hair, and placed in crack... read more


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common to fairly common; common on Mocha I (Chile). Density range on Chiloé I (Chile) estimated at 0·94–1·56... read more

Recommended citation

Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2020). Magellanic Tapaculo (Scytalopus magellanicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 February 2020).