Black-fronted Nunbird Monasa nigrifrons


The Black-fronted Nunbird is one of the four nunbirds in the genus Monasa. All four species are large, black puffbirds with pale bills, best identified by the presence and location of white in their plumages and the color of their bills. The Black-fronted is the only nunbird with all-dark plumage and an orange bill. It is widespread in Amazonia, but is replaced north of the Amazon River and east of the Rio Negro by the closely-related Black Nunbird (Monasa atra). The Black-fronted Nunbird occurs in groups that perch conspicuously and regularly erupt into noisy choruses of whistles and churrs. It forages mostly for arthropods at lower levels in open floodplain forest, floodplain forest edge, bamboo, and riverine secondary growth. It is replaced in tall terra firme forest by the White-fronted Nunbird (Monasa morphoeus) and in terra firme edge habitats by the Yellow-billed Nunbird (Monasa flavirostris). Like most puffbirds, the Black-fronted Nunbird nests in a burrow in a bank or in the ground.

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© Gregory Budney

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Black-fronted Nunbird (Monasa nigrifrons), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: