Unsorted Wild Birds


The Jacamars consist of 5 genera and 18 species found in Central and Northern South America.


These small to medium-sized slender perching birds measure between 5.5 inches and 13 inches (14 -34 cm) in length and weigh between 0.6 – 2.6 oz (17 – 75 grams.) They have small feet, rounded wings, and very long bills. Their plumage varies from brightly colored and iridescent to fairly dull.

Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on insects in flight but also feed butterflies and moths captured in flight. The Great Jacamar will also feed on lizards and spiders in its diet.

Breeding / Nesting

Jacamars usually nest in holes in the ground or termite mounds in trees, often near water on the banks of rivers, or near the roots of dead trees. The average clutch consists of 1 and 4 eggs, and both parents share the incubation of the eggs and raising of the young. The hatchlings are covered in down feathers upon hatching.

White-eared Jacamar (Galbalcyrhynchus leucotis) near the Napo River in Amazonian Ecuador



  • Blue-necked Jacamars (Galbula cyanicollis)   – Found in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru, South America
  • Bluish-fronted Jacamar (Galbula cyanescens)   – Found in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru, South America
  • Bronzy Jacamar (Galbula leucogastra)  – Found in north-central South America in the Amazon Basin and the Guianas
  • Brown Jacamar (Brachygalba lugubris -Swainson, 1838 )  – Found in eastern and southern Venezuela through the Guianas to northeastern Brazil
    • Brachygalba lugubris fulviventris (P. L. Sclater, 1891) – Occur naturally in eastern of Andes in central Colombia (Buenavista, Villavicencio).
    • Brachygalba lugubris obscuriceps (J. T. Zimmer and Phelps, Sr., 1947) – Found in southern Venezuela (upper Orinoco region, Ocamo River) and northwestern Brazil (upper Padauiri River, Negro River).
    • Brachygalba lugubris caquetae (Chapman, 1917) – Found in southern Colombia east of the Andes (south of Caquetá) south to eastern Ecuador and northern Peru.
    • Brachygalba lugubris phaeonota (Todd, 1943) – Found in western Brazil, at Tonantins (on Solimões River).
    • Brachygalba lugubris naumburgi (Chapman, 1931) – Found in northeastern Brazil (Maranhão, Piauí).
    • Brachygalba lugubris melanosterna (P. L. Sclater, 1855) – Found in eastern Bolivia (Santa Cruz) and central and southern Brazil (Pará south to Rondônia, Mato Grosso, Goiás, western Minas Gerais, western São Paulo).
  • Coppery-chested Jacamar (Galbula pastazae)   – Found in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, South America
  • Dusky-backed Jacamar (Brachygalba salmoni)   – Found in Colombia and Panama
  • Great Jacamar (Jacamerops aureus -P. L. S. Müller, 1776 )  –  Nominate Race found in Colombia east of the Andes, southern Venezuela, and the Guianas.
    • Jacamerops aureus penardi (Bangs and Barbour, 1922) – Occurs in Costa Rica on the Caribbean slope, south to western Colombia (east to eastern Andes), and northwestern Ecuador (Esmeraldas).
    • Jacamerops aureus isidori (Deville, 1849) – Found in eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, western Brazil (east to Purús river), and northern Bolivia (Beni, northern La Paz)
    • Jacamerops aureus ridgwayi (Todd, 1943) – Found in lower Amazonian Brazil (east of Negro River on the northern bank, east of Tapajós River on the southern bank) south to Mato Grosso.
  • Green-tailed Jacamars (Galbula galbula)  – Found in Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela, South America
  • Pale-headed Jacamars (Brachygalba going)  – Found in Colombia and Venezuela, South America
  • Paradise Jacamar (Galbula dea – Linnaeus, 1758) – Nominate Race found in southern Venezuela (upper Orinoco River), the Guianas, and Brazil north of the Amazon (east of Negro River)
    • Galbula dea brunneiceps (Todd, 1943) – Range: Southeastern Colombia (east Guainía, Vaupés, south to Amazonas), eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, and western Brazil (west of Negro River and south of the Amazon, between Madeira and Tapajós rivers).
    • Galbula dea phainopepla (Todd, 1943) – Found in western Brazil south of the Amazon (west of Madeira River)
    • Galbula dea amazonum (P. L. Sclater, 1855) – Found in northcentral Brazil (west to Tapajós River, south to northern Mato Grosso) and northern Bolivia (Pando, Beni, northern La Paz)
  • Purplish Jacamar (Galbula chalcothorax) – Found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, South America
  • Purus Jacamar (Galbalcyrhynchus purusianus)
  • Rufous-tailed Jacamar (Galbula ruficauda – Cuvier, 1816)  –  Found in central Colombia (Magdalena Valley north of Cauca, Arauca, Casanare), Venezuela (except northwestern and southern parts), Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana (rarely east to coastal French Guiana), and northern Brazil (upper Branco river in Roraima).
    • Galbula ruficauda melanogenia (P. L. Sclater, 1853) – Found in eastern Mexico (Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas) south to western Andes of Colombia and Ecuador.
    • Galbula ruficauda pallens (Bangs, 1898) – Occurs naturally in extreme northern Colombia (Santa Marta, lower Magdalena Valley) and extreme northwestern Venezuela (Zulia).
    • Galbula ruficauda brevirostris (Cory, 1913) – Found in northern Colombia (Norte de Santander) and northwestern Venezuela (around the head of Maracaibo lake).
    • Galbula ruficauda rufoviridis (Cabanis, 1851) – Occurs in much of Brazil south of the Amazon and east of the Madeira River; and northern Bolivia (Pando, La Paz). There are some unconfirmed records from Paraguay and Argentina.
    • Galbula ruficauda heterogyna (Todd, 1932) – Found in eastern Bolivia (in Beni, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz) and south-central Brazil (western Mato Grosso).
  • Three-toed Jacamar (Jacamaralcyon tridactyla) – Found in Brazil, South America
  • White-eared Jacamar or Purus Jacamar (Galbalcyrhynchus leucotis)   – Found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru
  • White-chinned Jacamar (Galbula tombacea tombacea – Spix, 1824)  – Nominate Race found in western Brazil south of Amazon (east to Tonantins area), Colombia (south of Villavicencio, in Meta), northeastern Ecuador (Napo) and northeastern Peru (Loreto), South America
    • Galbula tombacea mentalis (Todd, 1943) – Found in northwestern Brazil on both banks of the Solimões River (east to Negro and Madeira Rivers)
  • White-throated Jacamar (Brachygalba albogularis):  Found in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru, South America
  • Yellow-billed Jacamar (Galbula albirostris)  – Found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela, South America.

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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