Unsorted Wild Birds


The Puffbirds are tropical birds with a range that stretches from Mexico to South America. They are named for their stout and puffy appearance.



Their plumages are mostly brown, rufous or grey. They have large heads with flattened bills with hooked tips.

Their sizes vary from the smallest – the Rufous-capped Nunlet measuring about 13 cm (5.1 in) and weighing, on average, 14 grams (0.5 oz), to the largest species – the White-necked Puffbird, which measures up to 29 cm (11.5 in) and 106 grams (3.7 oz).


Diet / Feeding

The Puffbirds feed on insects and small vertebrates.


Breeding / Nesting

The Puffbirds nest in holes in the ground or on termite mounds. The average clutch consists of 2 – 3 glossy white eggs.


Recognized Species

  • Genus: Notharchus
    • Guianan Puffbird, Notharchus macrorhynchos
    • White-necked Puffbird, Notharchus hyperrynchus
    • Black-chested Puffbird, Notharchus pectoralis
    • Brown-banded Puffbird, Notharchus ordii
    • Pied Puffbird, Notharchus tectus
    • Buff-bellied Puffbird, Notharchus swainsoni
  • Genus: Bucco
    • Chestnut-capped Puffbird, Bucco macrodactylus
    • Spotted Puffbird, Bucco tamatia
    • Sooty-capped Puffbird, Bucco noanamae
    • Collared Puffbird, Bucco capensis
  • Genus: Nystalus
    • Barred Puffbird, Nystalus radiatus
    • White-eared Puffbird, Nystalus chacuru
    • Striolated Puffbird, Nystalus striolatus
    • Spot-backed Puffbird, Nystalus maculatus
  • Genus: Hypnelus
    • Russet-throated Puffbird, Hypnelus ruficollis
  • Genus: Malacoptila
    • White-chested Puffbird, Malacoptila fusca
    • Semicollared Puffbird, Malacoptila semicincta
    • Crescent-chested Puffbird, Malacoptila striata
    • Black-streaked Puffbird, Malacoptila fulvogularis
    • Rufous-necked Puffbird, Malacoptila rufa
    • White-whiskered Puffbird, Malacoptila panamensis
    • Moustached Puffbird, Malacoptila mystacalis
  • Genus: Micromonacha
    • Lanceolated Monklet, Micromonacha lanceolata
  • Genus: Nonnula – the nunlets
    • Fulvous-chinned Nunlet, Nonnula sclateri
    • Rusty-chested Nunlet, Nonnula rubecula
    • Brown Nunlet, Nonnula brunnea
    • Grey-cheeked Nunlet, Nonnula frontalis
    • Rufous-capped Nunlet, Nonnula ruficapilla
    • Chestnut-headed Nunlet, Nonnula amaurocephala
  • Genus Hapaloptila
    • White-faced Nunbird, Hapaloptila castanea
  • Genus: Monasa – the nunbirds
    • Black Nunbird, Monasa atra
    • Black-fronted Nunbird, Monasa nigrifrons
    • White-fronted Nunbird, Monasa morphoeus
    • Yellow-billed Nunbird, Monasa flavirostris
  • Genus: Chelidoptera
    • Swallow-winged Puffbird, Chelidoptera tenebrosa

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson



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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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