Neotropical Birds
Version  1.0
This is a historic version of this account.   Current version

White-chested Puffbird Malacoptila fusca

Thomas S. Schulenberg and Hope Batcheller
Version: 1.0 — Published April 13, 2013



As is typical of other species of Malacoptila, White-chested Puffbird perches with an upright posture several meters above the ground in the understory, and can remain in one perch for long periods of time (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b, Hilty 2003), making very little movement other than a pendulum-like, side-to-side twitching of the tail (Schulenberg et al. 2010). Prey is captured with a sally, to vegetation or to the ground (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b, Hilty 2003); after a sally, the puffbird may return to the same perch, but more frequently continues on to a new perch (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b). White-chested Puffbird also occasionally follows swarms of army ants (Willis 1982) or mixed species flocks (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b).


Sexual Behavior

The sexual behavior of White-chested Puffbird is undescribed; presumably this species is socially monogamous.

Social and interspecific behavior

White-chested Puffbird usually is solitary, or in pairs.


Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. and H. Batcheller (2013). White-chested Puffbird (Malacoptila fusca), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whcpuf1.01
Birds of the World


A global alliance of nature organizations working to document the natural history of all bird species at an unprecedented scale.