White-wiskered Puffbird

Beautiful Birds of Belize Blog – Post #17

By Jim Gain


  • Scientific Name: Malacoptila panamensis
  • Name in Spanish (Mexico): Buco Barbón
  • ABA 4-Letter Bird Code: WWPU
  • Family: Bucconidae – Puffbirds
  • Order: Galbuliformes – Jacamars and Puffbirds
White-wiskered Puffbird (Female) Image © Jim Gain

The White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis) is a small bird species found in the tropical lowlands of Belize and other Central American countries. These birds have a distinctive appearance with a mostly brown body, white underparts, and a conspicuous white stripe over their eyes that resembles a pair of bushy eyebrows.

White-wiskered Puffbird Image © Jim Gain

White-whiskered Puffbirds are insectivorous birds and mainly feed on large insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars, which they catch by sallying out from a perch or hovering in mid-air. They are also known to eat small vertebrates, including lizards and frogs.

White-wiskered Puffbird (Male bottom left, female upper right) Image © Jim Gain

These birds are generally solitary and monogamous, with pairs defending a territory throughout the year. They breed in tree cavities, with the female laying two or three eggs. The chicks are fed by both parents until they fledge, which typically takes around 18-21 days. White-whiskered Puffbirds are common and widespread in Belize, and their populations are considered to be stable. They can be observed in various habitats, including lowland forests, secondary growth, and even gardens and parks.

>> Next Post on Sunday, 4/30/2023 – Cinnamon-bellied Saltator

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