Blackfronted nunbird

Monasa nigrifrons

TAXONOMY

Bucco nigrifrons Spix, 1824, Rio Solimoes, Brazil. Two subspecies recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Barbacou unicolore; German: Schwarzstirntrappist; Spanish: Manja Unicolor.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

10.2-11.4 in (26-29 cm); 2.4-3.5 oz (68-98 g). Relatively slender and long tailed for a puffbird, entirely sooty black, darker around bill and paler ventrally. Bill bright red and legs black.

DISTRIBUTION

M. n. nigrifrons: southeastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, much of Amazonian Brazil; M. n. canescens: eastern Bolivia.

HABITAT

Strong affinity to tall forest or regrowth on lakesides, riversides, and floodplains; also igapo and varzea, but generally absent from terra-firme forest.

BEHAVIOR

Group territorial, up to six individuals constantly foraging together noisily, often conspicuous in mixed-species foraging flocks.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Groups perch from lower strata to subcanopy, primarily taking insect prey (Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, Hymenoptera) in flight, but regularly from ground or foliage. Also reported catching small lizards, and following army ant swarms and primate troops to feed on flushed prey.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Lays about 3 eggs in nest burrows dug into level or slightly sloping ground. Incubation and fledging periods unknown. Presumed to be a cooperative breeder as groups visit nest area.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. A common bird throughout most of its range.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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