White-whiskered puffbird

White-whiskered puffbird
Malacoptila panamensis
Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:

white-whiskered puffbird (en); barbudo-de-loro-branco (pt); tamatia de Lafresnaye (fr); buco barbón (es); weißzügel-faulvogel (de)

Order Galbuliformes
Family Bucconidae

The white-whiskered puffbird is found from southern Mexico down to Colombia and western Ecuador.

These birds are 17-19 cm long and weigh 40-45 g.


This species occurs in the lower strata of primary and secondary humid forest and adjacent shady pastures.


White-whiskered puffbirds mostly hunt large insects, like locusts and moths, spiders, frogs, small lizzards and snakes, including poisonous coral snakes.

These birds breed in March-July. They nest in burrows, which are excavated in slightly sloping ground and lines with dead leaves. The entrance hole is camouflaged with twigs and leaves. There the female lays 2-3 white eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 15 days. The chicks are fed and brooded by both parents and fledge 20 days after hatching. Each pair produces a single clutch per year.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population of 50.000-500.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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