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Malacoptila panamensis

White-whiskered Puffbird

  • Order: Galbuliformes
  • Family: Bucconidae
  • Polytypic 4 Subspecies

Authors: Stone, Kathryn L

Malacoptila panamensis

Canopy Tower, Panama, 13 January 2006 © Christopher Wood

The White-whiskered Puffbird inhabits humid evergreen forests and shady forest edges from southeastern Mexico to Ecuador. Unlike most other species of puffbird, the White-whiskered shows noticeable differences in plumage between the sexes with males showing strong rufous tones to the face and chest. Like other puffbirds, its habit of perching quietly for long periods in the understory or mid levels of the forest makes it easy to overlook. It may seem as if the bird is simply resting, but the perception of inactivity is only a guise. Puffbirds sally out to catch insects, spiders, frogs or lizards then return to a perch where they beat their prey against a perch before swallowing them. White-whiskered Puffbirds sometimes attend army ant swarms or join mixed flocks.

Recommended Citation

Stone, Kathryn L. 2010. White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=290936

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Midstory
  • Foraging Behavior:Sally
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Burrow
  • Clutch: 2 - 3
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern