Ian’s Bird of the Week – White-whiskered Puffbird

White-necked Puffbird (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) by Ian

White-necked Puffbird (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – White-whiskered Puffbird ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 11/11/10

Last week’s Asian Dowitcher prompted an amusing comment about bird names (‘Dowitcher Princess’) from a friend of mine on the list, thank you Peter, so how about the White-whiskered Puffbird, encountered in Carara Reserve on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica? Puffbirds get their name from their fluffy plumage and along with Nunbirds (black), Monklets (smaller and brown) and Nunlets (oddly, also small and brown) comprise a small Central and South America family of 22 species, all with slightly hooked bills, called the Bucconidae, related to the iridescent Jacamars (Galbulidae).

White-necked Puffbird (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) by Ian

White-necked Puffbird (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) by Ian

All these bird sit around quietly in forests, and are easily overlooked, waiting for their invertebrate prey to appear, which they then pounce on. The White-whiskered Puffbird, 20cm/8in in length, usually perches close to the understory at a height of 1 to 6m/3 – 30ft and have the reputation of being tame. It nests in holes in the ground, either on a slope or in a bank, and supposedly blocks the entrance to the nest hollow at night with green leaves. It prefers the lowlands and ranges from southern Mexico to the western side of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador.

Related links:
Black-fronted Nunbird
White-fronted Nunbird
Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Other Costa Rican additions to the website include:
Scarlet Macaw
Double-striped thick-knee
Magnificent Hummingbird

And, for the wader-lovers, more photos of:
Terek Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Marbled Godwit

Best wishes,

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au

Lee’s Addition:
Bucconidae – Puffbirds are in the Piciformes Order which includes not only the Puffbirds, but also Jacamars, 3 families of Barbets, Honeyguides and Woodpeckers.

With all those new birds added from Costa Rica, you can discern that Ian had a great time on his visit. Now we have some more great photos for us armchair birdwatchers to view.

… we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3 ESV)


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