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Black-fronted Nunbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Robert Scanlon
Photographed Near Iquitos, Peru, January 2005
Monasa nigrifrons


26-27½ cm (10¼-10¾ in).
Adult's black head and slate-gray body contrasts with the slender and slightly decurved coral-red bill. Juvenile is browner with orange or yellow bill.

Similar Species

White-fronted Nunbird Adults similar to Black-fronted Nunbird but with conspicuous white facial patches. Yellow-billed Nunbird may be confused with juvenile Black-fronted, but is blacker with white lesser coverts.


A slightly paler race M. n. canescens is confined to Eastern Bolivia


South America: found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil



There are 2 subspecies:

  • M. n. nigrifrons:
  • M. n. canescens:


Lower to middle levels of humid forest, close to rivers and streams.



It nests in burrows excavated on level ground or bank.


The diet includes insects.


Song is a rapid series of ­melodious upslurred clerry or curry notes often in a chorus. Also a repeated kew-CHU-garoo




  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Arthur Grosset
  4. Black-fronted Nunbird (Monasa nigrifrons), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/blfnun1
  5. Rasmussen, P.C., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black-fronted Nunbird (Monasa nigrifrons). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/55983 on 13 July 2019).
  6. Schulenberg, T. S. & Stotz, D. F. & Lane, D. F. & O'Neill, J. P. & Parker III, T. A. & Egg, A. B. (2010). Birds of Peru: Revised and Updated Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691130231

Recommended Citation

External Links

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