Rufous-tailed jacamar

The rufous-tailed jacamar (Galbula ruficauda) is a near-passerine bird which breeds in the tropical New World in southern Mexico, Central America and South America as far south as southern Brazil and Ecuador.

Rufous-tailed jacamar
Rufous-tailed jacamar (Galbula ruficauda) male 2.JPG
Male G. r. rufoviridis in the Pantanal, Brazil, and a recording from Ecuador
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Galbulidae
Genus: Galbula
G. ruficauda
Binomial name
Galbula ruficauda
Cuvier, 1816
Galbula ruficauda map.svg


Male G. r. ruficauda in Tobago
Female in Brazil

Like other jacamars they are elegant, brightly coloured birds with long bills and tails. The rufous-tailed jacamar is typically 25 centimetres (10 in) long with a 5 centimetres (2 in) long black bill. The subspecies G. r. brevirostris has, as its name implies, a shorter bill. This bird is metallic green above, and the underparts are mainly orange, including the undertail, but there is a green breast band. Sexes differ in that the male has a white throat, and the female a buff throat; she also tends to have paler underparts. The race G. r. pallens has a copper-coloured back in both sexes.

Food and foragingEdit

This insectivore hunts from a perch, sitting with its bill tilted up, then flying out to catch flying insects. One commonly preyed upon insect is the social wasp Agelaia vicina. Further, the bird distinguishes between edible and unpalatable butterflies mainly according to body shape.[2]


This species is a resident breeder in a range of dry or moist woodlands and scrub. The two to four rufous-spotted white eggs are laid in a burrow in a bank or termite mound.


The rufous-tailed jacamar's call is a sharp pee-op, and the song a high thin peeo-pee-peeo-pee-pe-pe, ending in a trill.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Galbula ruficauda". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Chai, Peng (1996). "Butterfly visual characteristics and ontogeny of responses to butterflies by a specialized tropical bird". Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 59 (1): 37–67. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.1996.tb01452.x.
  • ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.
  • Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Galbula ruficauda at Wikimedia Commons   Data related to Galbula ruficauda at Wikispecies