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Magellanic Babbler
Scytalopus magellanicus

Magellanic Babbler
Churrín Común
Scytalopus magellanicus
Length: 105mm. Sexes alike. Bill black; iris dark brown; upperparts of head, hind neck and back in general dark plumbeous grey; throat, foreneck and breast plumbeous grey; belly plumbeous grey with whitish margins at the centre; anterior flanks plumbeous grey, posterior flanks rusty brown with blackish barring; undertail coverts as posterior flank; wings and tail feathers dark plumbeous grey. Legs with outer part of tarsus yellowish brown, inner part of tarsus and toes pale yellow. Average weight: 12g. Juvenile: entirely rusty brown with very dark brown transversal barring and a scaly appearance. Between the juvenile and adult stage there is a wide variety of intermediate colours and many adult and subadult individuals show silver white on upperparts of head and crown. This feature is not related to age or season. Habitat and behaviour: it frequents dense vegetation of the most humid and darker parts of the forest understory. Very restless, it may be seen rushing over fallen branches, swiftly hopping here and there. It feeds on invertebrates picked among rotting matter. Often solitary, these birds communicate between them with a series of repeated and powerful notes. When alarmed it gives out a quick screech, with descending notes. When it is drawn towards something nearby, such as the presence of man, it utters a feeble cry resembling a drop of water. Curious by nature, like all members of the family, if one remains quiet and still it approaches at close quarters, but if it is startled it quickly disappears. It always holds its tail very erect.
The Magellanic Babbler nests in hollows or cavities in tree trunks, up to three white eggs being laid. Range: from Neuquén to Tierra del Fuego within the stretch of the subantarctic forests.
Illustrated Hanbook of Birds of Patagonia
Kindless: Kovacs Family

Photographs: Mariano Diez Peña

Birding Patagonia • Birdwatcing in Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina and Chile.
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Photographs on the website: Mariano Diez Peña