Thursday, February 4, 2010

Magellanic Woodpecker, Glacier National Park, Argentina

Originally posted 5/20/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

This photo of a female Magellanic Woodpecker at Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina shows off her recurved crest very well. The photo is © john_raiders and posted here with his permission.

If you haven't heard the laughing call of the Magellanic Woodpecker yet, it is most definitely worth a listen, right here:

5 comments:

Larry said...

I'm not familiar with woodpeckers outside my area other than the few photos I've seen posted from the wetern US.very interesting looking bird.The shape of the crest reminds me of something that Dr. Seuss would have come up with.I enjoyed listening to the call as well.

Martjan said...

Actually the call in the recording is what was described by Winkler et al. (1995) as the gargling "weer-weerr" call. It is a nasal sound for close range communication among groups of Magellanic Woodpecker. The species also has a laughing call, described by Short (1970) as the "cray-cra-cra-cra-cra-cra" call. Argentinean researchers name it the "carcajada" call. It is mostly given in flight, and remains unrecorded to my knowledge.

Bill Benish said...

Maybe so, but I'm having a hard time with the idea that this call is the gargling "weer-weerr" call described by Winkler. Just imagine playing this call for 10 people. Most (all?) of them would say that it sounds a lot more like laughing than it does gargling.

In Birds of Patagonia, E. Couve and C. Vidal say that the magellanic gives a loud and diagnostic laughing-like call when returning to territory in order to attract attention of its mate.

Now the idea that these birds have a "carcajada" call that may yet remain unrecorded is another fascinating reminder of how much we still don't know about these birds and the rest of nature's wonders.

Bill Benish said...

I should say, I'm not calling your call id into question Martjan, just expressing some disagreement with Winkler et al.'s description of it.

Angie said...

Stunning bird.

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