|Southern Andean Flicker Colaptes rupicola
Chilean name: Pitío del norte
|Lauca National Park, Chile
The Southern Andean Flicker is distributed in the Andes from Peru into northern Chile, Argentina and adjacent areas of Bolivia. It is found at high elevations (normally between 3,000 and 5,000 metres) mainly on puna grasslands but requires holes in cliffs or road cuttings in which to build their nest burrows.
|They tend to be gregarious and nest in colonies. The female in photo 3 was at the mouth of her nest burrow on a cutting in the road and there must have been at least another dozen burrows in close proximity.
It is a large woodpecker with a long bill, longer on the male than on the female. The male has a red malar stripe and a small patch of red on the nape. These are missing on the slightly smaller female.