During his visit to South America, Charles Darwin was surprised to encounter two species of woodpecker that nest and forage on the ground in open areas, rather than in trees within woodland and forest like other members of the group (5). One of these species was the Chilean flicker, which is commonly observed foraging in the soil and amongst shrubs for insects and their larvae (2) (6). This species will also capture prey by using its strong bill to pierce wood and extract insect larvae with its tongue (2).
Only occasionally constructing its nest in cavities within tree trunks, the Chilean flicker mostly excavates nesting holes in cliffs, steep slopes and banks. A clutch of five or six eggs is usually laid within this cavity (2).
The Chilean flicker is frequently preyed upon by various South American raptors such as the rufous-tailed hawk (Buteo ventralis) and the American kestrel (Falco sparverius) (7) (8).