I am nearing the end of the amazing birds on my Colombia trip last fall. Here are the remaining non-passerines that I have not discussed earlier.
The puffbirds are a small (38 species) New World family. 24 of them are in Colombia. Puffbirds appear to be large headed birds with heavy bills. They tend to sit motionless and then fly out to grab an insect or lizard. I saw and photographed 3 species on this trip, 2 of which were lifers. The one I had photographed before is the 7" White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis). This bird is rufous and white and a streaked belly.
The new World Barbets are another small (15 species) New World family. The 7" White-mantled Barbet (Capito hypoleucus) is endemic to Colombia and obviously was a lifer as this was my first trip to that country.
What was interesting to me with this bird which was coming to a feeder. was he did not have the bare shaft. The guide had not seen a bird without the raquet tail before.
Here is a close up of his tail feathers. and they look perfectly normal. There has been some discussion as to how the bird gets the bare shaft. It was presumed that the bird stripped the shaft bare himself. But the latest I read, that the thinking now is the shaft just drops off the bristles. You can certainly see the tip of the 2 longest feathers are wider than the rest of the feather.
For comparison, here is another Andean Motmot I photographed in Ecuador. The bare shafts are readily seen below the branch.
photos copyright 2006 - 2017 David McDonald
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