• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

White-whiskered Puffbird - BirdForum Opus

Malacoptila panamensis
Photo © by Dave B Smith


18 cm. Bristles around the base of the large bill, and white “whiskers”, actually tufts of feathers. Pale brown upperparts and tail, cinnamon spotting on wings and crown, cinnamon-buff underparts, streaked darker, and becoming paler moving down the body to the almost white vent area. The female has a greyer brown back and darker streaks on the paler underparts. Young birds are like the female but have barring on the upperparts and narrower streaks on the underparts.

Photo © by Dave B Smith


Southeastern Mexico to central Ecuador.


Four subspecies are recognized:[1] inornata (fuliginosa), panamensis, poliopis, and magdalenae


Forests, shady plantations, especially of cocoa, and old second growth in lowlands and foothills.


  • Breeding: It nests in a 15-55 cm long, 6 cm diameter burrow in, usually, gently sloping ground. The wider nesting chamber is lined with dried leaves. 2, rarely 3, glossy white eggs are laid; both sexes incubate the eggs and feed the young.
  • Diet: Includes large insects, spiders, small frogs or lizards.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1