The Sooty-capped Puffbird is endemic to the lowlands of the Pacific coast of northwestern Colombia; although the distribution of this species closely approaches the border with Panama, to date there are no records from that country. The entire upperparts are sooty (not just the cap); distinctive features include the white throat and white sides of the face, a very broad black band across the breast, and a white belly that is spotted or coarsely barred with black. The behavior of this species is similar to that of other species of Bucco: it perches quietly for long periods in the understory of humid forest, occasionally sallying out to capture prey from adjacent foliage. This species is locally common, in recent years it has been reported from only a small number of localities, and the population is in decline due in part to ongoing habitat loss. The IUCN Red List conservation status of the Sooty-capped Puffbird is assessed as Near-Threatened.