El Pitío, or the Chilean Flicker, is a very common sight around the Torres del Paine National Park. In my travels around the region, I saw many birds of Patagonia, but El Pitío stands out due to its particular uniqueness.
Where can you find El Pitío?
El Pitío likes to travel from branch to branch of the tall forest trees. Its scientific name is Colaptes pitius. Torres del Paine Park is a great place to find birds of Patagonia. As a woodpecker, it distinguishes itself from other birds due to its unique songs and pitch. The people that I met in Magallanes told me about the many meanings of the Pitío’s songs:
The locals hear El Pitío’s music as a welcoming greet, although some see it as a warning for predators.
One of the original inhabitant of Patagonia, the Mapuches, believed that el Pitío used its songs to warn other birds of a nearby predator. The changes to El Pitío song meant the departure of danger.
Many Chilean poets and painters have dedicated many pieces to this bird.
Many poems, songs and paintings have been inspired by El Pitío’s songs. Its presence has become a staple of the region and a true local inhabitant of Patagonia.
The variety of wildlife and bird-watching in Chile, and in the Magallanes region, is vast. The fertile valleys create ideal conditions for many migrating birds to flock during the summer and retreat north during the winter months.
In a very short and small trip, there are many opportunities to sight-see many animals in their native environment; such as penguins, seals, guanacos, condors, and pumas. In just a 100-mile radius you can discover and photograph amazing scenes without extensive traveling.
All in all, the many birds of Patagonia make the place ideal for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts.
In our Patagonia Photography tour, we have many opportunities to photograph birds and to El Pitío.
More about this bird can be found at its Wikipedia page