From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Temporal range: Miocene-Recent 13–0 Ma
Galbula ruficauda - back.jpg
Adult male rufous-tailed jacamar
(Galbula ruficauda melanogenia)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Galbulidae
Genus: Galbula
Brisson, 1760

10, see text

Galbula is the type and largest genus of the jacamar family (Galbulidae) of piciform birds, and its suborder Galbulae. Sometimes, the Piciformes are split in two, with the Galbulae upranked to full order Galbuliformes.[1]

They are smallish to mid-sized forest birds of the Neotropics, with long pointed bills, elongated tails, and small feet. Colored in metallic iridescent hues – typically greenish – at least on the upperside, some have a red or brownish belly. Males and females are generally similar in appearance, but in most species differ in minor plumage details. As usual for Piciformes, they nest in burrows they dig out themselves. In the case of this genus, nests are dug in earthen banks along rivers or roads, or in termitaria. As with other jacamars but otherwise unknown among Piciformes, their chicks do not hatch naked. They have a piping song and feed in typical jacamar fashion, by catching flying arthropods, typically larger insects such has butterflies.[1]

Most Galbula species are fairly common in their natural range, which despite rampant deforestation is still extensive. Only the coppery-chested jacamar (G. pastazae) occurs in a more restricted region in the Andes foothills, and is considered a threatened species.[1]


Ten living species are presently recognized in this genus, and it is not very likely that this will change much. Listed in the presumed phylogenetic sequence, they are:

A fossil species, Galbula hylochoreutes, has been described from the mid-Miocene of Colombia. It was apparently more specialized for aerial feeding than the living species.


  1. ^ a b c Tobias, J.; Züchner T. & T.A. de Melo Júnior (2002) "Family Galbulidae (Jacamars)". in del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Sargatal, J. (editors). (2002). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-37-7