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Galbulidae – Jacamars

Three-toed Jacamar in Brazil: Photo by Joao Quental

Galbulidae, commonly known as jacamars, is a family of birds comprising around 18 species. These elegant insectivores are primarily found in the tropical forests of Central and South America.

Overview of Galbulidae

These slender, long-billed birds with equally elongated tails are skilled hunters in the dense forests of the Neotropics, adept at capturing swiftly flying butterflies and dragonflies. With shimmering emerald hues, jacamars swiftly launch from their perches to seize their prey, leaving behind piles of discarded insect wings as telltale signs of their presence. These birds possess a remarkable ability to distinguish between palatable and chemically defended butterfly species, ensuring their safety by sampling potential prey before consumption. Both males and females contribute to feeding their young, typically housed in burrow nests along streamside banks.