Greater Pied Puffbird Notharchus tectus
Pied Puffbird, Brazil, Sept 2000 - click for larger image Amazonia National Park, Pará, Brazil
September 2000

This is one of the smaller puffbirds at 15 cms (6") and is a bit like a miniature White-necked Puffbird (N. hyperrhynchus) except that it has white spots on its crown and a white supercilium. The rictal bristles at the base of the bill that all puffbirds have are easy to see in these photos.

This individual was very confiding as are most members of the Puffbird family but it may also have been due to the fact that we were very close to its nest.

Pied Puffbird, Brazil, Sept 2000 - click for larger image This nest was in a termites' nest about 3 metres up a tree. The puffbird excavates a chamber in the termites nest and the termites immediately restore the walls opened by the puffbird but leave the puffbird's chamber undisturbed. I assume that there is some sort of symbiotic relationship between the termites and the puffbird but I don't know what it might be.

There are illustrations in HBW, Volume 7, Pages 109 and 124; and in Hilty & Brown, Plate 19.

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