Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda

  • Order: Galbuliformes
  • Family: Galbulidae
  • Polytypic: 6 subspecies
  • Authors: Noelle M. Chaine



Rufous-tailed Jacamars are active and alert, watching for prey from a horizontal perch that is usually lower in the forest but still a few meters above the ground. The perch often allows a vantage over an opening, perhaps from a path or narrow stream, so that there is room to maneuver in the air when sallying for flying prey. Insects are caught in the long, pointed bill and brought back to the perch. Large prey are beaten against the perch and may have the wings removed before being consumed (Skutch 1962).

Male jacamars have been observed repeating the same routes and using the same perches day to day (Pinheiro et al 2003). Since the perches are relatively close to one another, this species may have a small, restricted home range (Pinheiro et al 2003).


Little information. Pinheiro et al. (2003) observed spatial separation but, as disputes or aggressive behavior were not seen, such distribution may not be related to territoriality.

Sexual Behavior

No information.

Social and interspecific behavior

Usually solitary or in pairs (Hilty and Brown 1986, Hilty 2003).


Little information.

Recommended Citation

Chaine, N. M. (2010). Rufous-tailed Jacamar (Galbula ruficauda), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.