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Greater pied puffbird

Notharchus tectus

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:
greater pied puffbird (en); macuru-pintado (pt); tamatia pie (fr); buco pío (es); elsterfaulvogel (de)

Order Galbuliformes
Family Bucconidae

This species is found from southern Colombia, south to central Peru, and east to the Guyanas and into Brazil as far as Mato Grosso and Maranhão.

These birds are 14-17 cm long and weigh 20-40 g.

The greater pied puffbird is mostly found in moist tropical forests, including forest edges and clearings, but also use mangroves, dry tropical forests, second growths, moist scrublands, dry savannas, rivers and streams, pastures and plantations. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

They hunt large arthropods, such as dragonflies, grasshoppers, bugs, butterflies and moths, and spiders.

Greater pied puffbirds breed in March-December, varying among different parts of their range. They nest is a deep tunnel excavated in an arboreal termite nest or in an earth bank, with an unlined nest chamber at the end. There the female lays 2-3 white eggs. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common but patchily distributed. The greater pied puffbird is suspected to lose 18-23% of suitable habitat within its range over the next decade based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. It is therefore suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

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