Restricted to eastern Panama, northwestern Colombia, and western Ecuador, the Barred Puffbird is uncommon throughout its range. They inhabit the borders of humid lowland forest, second growth, and open woodland, where they prefer the mid-story and subcanopy levels. Like other puffbirds, they sit motionless for long periods of time, occasionally sallying out to snag insects. This lack of activity makes them difficult to spot, and they’re often best detected by their voice, a low, drawn-out wolf-whistle. Visually, they are quite distinctive, having a pattern of cinnamon and buff finely barred with black throughout. Their large bill is greenish. Barred Puffbirds are unlikely to be confused with other species; female Fasciated Antshrikes (Cymbilaimus lineatus) share the same overall color scheme, but are smaller, darker, and perch horizontally rather than vertically.