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Bucconidae

Bucconidae (puffbirds; class Aves, order Piciformes) A family of small, black or brown and white birds that have thick necks and large heads. The bill is stout with a hooked, often bifid, tip. There are rictal bristles, and the feet are zygodactylous. They are insectivorous and nest in holes in banks (one of the four species of Notharchus nests in tree-termite nests). There are 10 genera, with 32 species, found in tropical forests in Central and S. America.

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puffbirds

puffbirds See BUCCONIDAE; PICIFORMES.

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Puffbirds

Puffbirds

Puffbirds are 32 species of birds that make up the family Bucconidae. This family is in the order Piciformes, which also contains the woodpeckers, toucans, barbets, jacamars, and honey-guides. Puffbirds are native to lowland tropical forests from southern Mexico, through to Paraguay and northern Argentina in South America. Most species occur in Amazonia (the region that includes the basin of the Amazon River in South America).

Puffbirds are short, squat birds, with a large head, a stout, often hooked beak, and a short tail. The puff-ball effect is further heightened by the habit these birds have of frequently raising their feathers. However, as soon as they sense an intrusion, they immediately flatten their feathers, to become less conspicuous. The plumage of puffbirds is a rather subdued gray, brown, or white.

Puffbirds sit patiently at vantage places on a tree branch, scanning for potential prey. When they spy a small lizard, frog, or large insect, they sally forth and attempt to seize it. Insects are sometimes snared from the air.

Puffbirds nest in cavities dug into termite nests, or in burrows excavated vertically or on a steep incline into the ground, with a chamber at the bottom. They lay two to three eggs that are incubated by both parents, which also share in the rearing of the chicks. During the day, the chicks wait to be fed near the burrow entrance, but at night they retire to the lower chamber, often camouflaging the entrance with leaves as they descend.

The white-necked puffbird (Notharchus macrorhynchus ) is one of the more common species, occurring widely in Central and South America.

Bill Freedman

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Puffbirds

Puffbirds

Puffbirds are 32 species of birds that make up the family Bucconidae. This family is in the order Piciformes, which also contains the woodpeckers , toucans , barbets , jacamars, and honey-guides. Puffbirds are native to lowland tropical forests from southern Mexico, through to Paraguay and northern Argentina in South America . Most species occur in Amazonia.

Puffbirds are short, squat birds, with a large head, a stout, often hooked beak, and a short tail. The puff-ball effect is further heightened by the habit these birds have of frequently raising their feathers. However, as soon as they sense an intrusion, they immediately flatten their feathers, to become less conspicuous. The plumage of puffbirds is a rather subdued gray, brown, or white.

Puffbirds sit patiently at vantage places on a tree branch, scanning for potential prey . When they spy a small lizard, frog, or large insect, they sally forth and attempt to seize it. Insects are sometimes hawked in the air.

Puffbirds nest in cavities dug into termite nests, or in burrows excavated vertically or on a steep incline into the ground, with a chamber at the bottom. They lay two to three eggs that are incubated by both parents, which also share in the rearing of the chicks. During the day, the chicks wait to be fed near the burrow entrance, but at night they retire to the lower chamber, often camouflaging the entrance with leaves as they descend.

The white-necked puffbird (Notharchus macrorhynchus) is one of the more common species, occurring widely in Central and South America.

Bill Freedman

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"Puffbirds." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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