Near the top of the Avilés Valley, the new trail bends away from the river and points up into a montane lenga forest. Ducking into the forest for some shade, we saw a flash of scarlet and heard a short kee-OW! We froze. For the next half hour, two Magellanic Woodpeckers, a male and a female, put on a colorful show for us.
Known locally as Carpinteros, Magellanic Woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus) find their food by pecking for grub in live and dead trees. They also use more deliberate, patterned pecking to communicate with each other.
Check out this video of BBC’s David Attenborough interacting with a pair of Magellanic Woodpeckers in Patagonia. We’re going to try his stone trick next time we’re out!