2 minute read

Puffbirds: Bucconidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Puffbirds are arboreal birds, meaning that they live in trees. They perch motionless in trees for long periods waiting for prey to approach. When flying, puffbirds fly quickly and swiftly on whirl-sounding wings. They defend their territory throughout the year with sounds that tell outsiders they are close by and to stay away. They are generally solitary birds, although some species are found in small family groups. Vocal sounds are also used to attract mates. Their voice is thin and ring-like, and can range from weak to loud, rarely being pleasant. Puffbirds do not seem to be migratory birds, yet some species that live at high altitudes or at the southernmost edge of their geographic range do migrate in response to changes in seasons.

Puffbirds are monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus), meaning that they have only one mate. They breed at various times throughout their ranges, depending on the amount of rainfall. It is believed that nests are made from cavities that are dug out of former termite and ant beds and sometimes out of abandoned nests of other birds. Some nests are burrowed into sand or soil, while others are made in tree holes. Both members of the mating pair generally dig nests. Nest cavities vary in length from 20 to 60 inches (50 to 150 centimeters) with larger species digging longer cavities. Cavities end in a rounded chamber that is usually not lined with any materials but can be lined at times with leaves or grass. Some species place leaves around the entrance, probably to hide the opening.

Their small, white unmarked eggs can vary from dull to glossy and are usually laid in clutches (groups of eggs hatched together) of two to three, sometimes four. The incubation period (length of time needed to sit on eggs and warm them in order to hatch them) is unknown in most species. Both sexes incubate the eggs and only one brood (young birds that are born and raised together) is raised each year. Hatchlings (newly born birds) are born blind and naked, but are still able to crawl to the entrance on their first day of life in order to take food from their parents. The fledgling period (time it takes for feathers to develop in order to fly) is believed to be twenty to thirty days. Young birds remain in their birthing territory for about one year.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsPuffbirds: Bucconidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, White-necked Puffbird (notharchus Macrorhynchos): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, PUFFBIRDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS