|Swallow-winged Puffbird Chelidoptera
(aka Swallow-wing) Brazilian name: Andorinha do mato or Urubuzinho
The Swallow-winged Puffbird is distributed in tropical South America east of the Andes. It is usually seen perched on trees by rivers and lakes from which it flies up to capture its flying insect prey.
It requires open areas with sandy soil or earth banks into which it digs a tunnel to serve as its nest (see photos 8 and 9).
|It is mainly glossy blue-back
with white on the rump and lower back which is often difficult to
see. The belly is cinnamon and the undertail coverts white. It
looks plump and has a short tail and broad wings.
The photos 4 and 5 show part of a display between a pair of Swallow-winged Puffbirds. Both birds sang a duet and then one, I presume the male, made short flights spreading his wings before settling back on the branch to sing again. This went on for about 30 minutes but I never noticed the birds copulating.
Photo 6 shows a Swallow-winged Puffbird "sun-bathing". There were groups of 2 or 3 birds lying on the sun-baked ground which was very hot and where they spread out their wings and fluffed up their white rump feathers.
Photos 10, 11 12 and 13 show the subspecies from coastal eastern Brazil C. t. brasiliensis. This has paler, more ochraceous underparts and a rufescent tint to the rump, underwing coverts and undertail coverts.
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