The Black-breasted Puffbird occurs from Panama’s Canal Zone in the north, to northwest Ecuador in the south. It is a relatively large, strikingly plumaged, but entirely black-and-white puffbird. Much of its range is shared with substantially smaller, but often more numerous Pied Puffbird (Notharchus tectus), which is also mainly black and white. However, the latter species has a much narrower black breast band, no white on the hindneck, a small amount of white on the back, and a much smaller bill. Especially with previous experience, there should be no real risk of confusion. The Black-breasted Puffbird prefers humid lowland forest below 1000 m, where it is usually spotted in pairs, typically keeping to the canopy, although in some areas it commonly follows army ant swarms, which brings it much lower above the ground.