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Moustached Puffbird - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 22:51, 13 February 2017 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (Clearer images showing side and front views. Links. References updated)
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Photo by max1
Central Andes, Colombia, February 2016
Malacoptila mystacalis


Photo by Pitter
Trujillo, Valle, Colombia, May 2014

20-23 cm (7¾-9 in). A typical Puffbird.

  • Drab brown upperparts with white to buffy spots, large and in rows on wing-coverts, as narrow bars on back to uppertail-coverts
  • Dark-bordered white area around lores and base of forehead
  • Richer brown ear-coverts with pale shaft streaks
  • Dark-surrounded white malar whiskers (moustache)
  • Long pale rufous chin feathers
  • Plain brown wings with narrow buffy edgings
  • Longish, strongly graduated, brown tail with narrow buffy tips
  • Pale rufous throat to breast, vague band of dark streaks around lower edge
  • Dull brown lower flanks, barred and streaked whitish, white undertail-coverts
  • Black bill, parts of lower mandible bluish
  • Red eye with dark orbital ring

Females are greyer and duller brown above, more heavily marked with buff above and on ear-coverts, with a paler breast and more heavily marked below.
Immatures have shorter bills and are darker and more obscurely marked overall.


Andes of Colombia and northwest and northern Venezuela.
Uncommon in Colombia, fairly common in Venezuela.


This is a monotypic species1.
May form a superspecies with White-whiskered Puffbird and Black-streaked Puffbird. Birds from southwestern Colombia may merit subspecific status (pacifica).


Found in undergrowth of forest, often on slopes or in gulleys.
Occurs at 350 to 2100 m.



Insects including Malacoptila mystacalis larvea.


Breeding season probably February to September in Colombia, May to August in Venezuela. The nest is in a hole in an earth bank. No other information.


Presumably a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 2002. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334375

Recommended Citation

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