Galbuliformes – Puffbirds & jacamars

Vibrantly colored birds of the Neotropics; once suborder of Piciformes

Comprising birds such as jacamars and puffbirds, it represents a group of tropical species that are often overshadowed by the more colorful and vocal inhabitants of their ecosystems. Inhabiting the lush forests from Mexico down through South America, these birds have adapted to a life amongst the dense foliage, playing a quiet yet vital role in their habitats.

Their behavior is predominantly solitary or in small family groups, and they are not known for forming large flocks. The arboreal nature of these birds means they spend a significant amount of their time in the trees. They are adept at staying still for long periods, which, along with their muted brown or green plumage, helps them blend into their surroundings—a strategy that is essential for both avoiding predators and ambushing prey.

In terms of vocalization, Galbuliformes are not the typical songbirds of the forest. Their calls are infrequent and typically restricted to the low-light hours of dawn and dusk. This discreet vocalization contributes to their elusive nature, making them a less conspicuous presence in the forest compared to their more boisterous neighbors.

The hunting strategy of Galbuliformes is one of patience and precision. They perch motionless, often on a high vantage point, before swiftly capturing insects with their beak. This sit-and-wait technique is effective in dense forests where quick, agile prey is abundant.

The clutch size for Galbuliformes is usually small, often only two to three eggs, which suggests a reproductive strategy that emphasizes the quality of care and investment in a few offspring rather than quantity.