skip to content

Galbula pastazae

Coppery-chested Jacamar

  • Order: Galbuliformes
  • Family: Galbulidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan



Galbula are medium sized jacamars with rufous and iridescent green plumage; a long, thin bill; and a long, strongly graduated tail. The male Coppery-chested Jacamar is a typical Galbula, with head, throat, breast, and upperparts all green; the crown is bluer, and the uppersurface of the rectrices is bronzy. The belly and the outer rectrices are rufous. The female is similar, but differs from the male (and from all other Galbula) by the rufous chestnut throat. Both sexes have bare orange yellow skin surrounding the eye.

Similar Species

Coppery-chested Jacamar is similar to several other members of the genus Galbula, although other species are confined to the lowlands and so there is little or no overlap with Coppery-chested. The bare yellow skin surrounding the eye. combined with the black bill, is diagnostic; Yellow-billed (Galbula alibrostris) and Blue-cheeked (Galbula cyanicollis) jacamars also have bare yellow eyerings, but have extensive yellow on the bill. The rufous throat of female Coppery-chested Jacamar also is distinctive; this color is much deeper than the buff throat of female Rufous-tailed (Galbula ruficauda) and female Green-tailed (Galbula galbula) jacamars. Male Coppery-chested Jacamar is more similar to White-chinned Jacamar (Galbula tombacea), but Coppery-chested has a bluer, more glittering forecrown, and has little or no white on the chin and upper throat.


The song of Coppery-chested Jacamar is similar to that of other species of Galbula; it is described as "a series of gradually rising pee notes that seem (unlike many other Galbula) usually not to end in a chipper" (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b) and as "a rising series of wee notes, sometimes ending in a descending rattle" (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010).

The call is "a sharper peeyk" (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b) or "a weet note, singly or in a series" (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Detailed Description (appearance)

The following description is based on Tobias et al. (2002):

Adult male: Crown metallic green, glossed with blue. Rest of upperparts metallic bronzy green. Upper surface of two central pairs of rectrices green; upper surface of remaining rectrices coppery rufous, with a small green apical spot on the outer rectrices. Throat and breast shining green; chin and upper throat often with whitish flecks. Belly, undertail coverts, and underside of rectrices dark rufous.

Adult female: Similar to male, but chin and throat dark rufous.

Juvenile: Undescribed.

Bare Parts

Iris: brown; bare orbital skin bright orange yellow or yellowish orange (less prominent in female)

Bill: black

Tarsi and toes: yellow olive, grayish

Bare parts color data from Tobias et al. (2002) and personal observations (T. Schulenberg).


Total length: 23 cm (Hilty and Brown 1986, Schulenberg et al. 2010), 23-24 cm (Tobias et al. 2002), 24 cm (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b)

Linear measurements:

wing length (flattened), male: mean 93.3 mm (range 92-94 mm, n = 3; Haffer 1974)

tail length, male: mean 108 mm (range 105-110 mm, n = 3; Haffer 1974)

bill from nostril, male: 44.6 mm (n = 2; Haffer 1974)

Mass: ca 31 g (Tobias et al. 2002); male, 32 g (n = 1; T. Schulenberg, personal observation)


No information available - Contribute

Geographic Variation



Described as Galbula pastazae by Taczanowksi and Berlepsch (1885), from specimens from Mapoto and Machay, Ecuador.

There is no phylogenetic analysis of relationships between species within Galbula. Galbula pastazae often is considered to form a superspecies with Galbula ruficauda (Rufous-tailed Jacamar), Galbula galbula (Green-tailed Jacamar), Galbula tombacea (White-chinned Jacamar), and Galbula cyanescens (Bluish-fronted Jacamar) (Haffer 1974, Tobias et al. 2002).

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan. 2012. Coppery-chested Jacamar (Galbula pastazae), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: