Jacamars occur mainly at low altitudes, ranging from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. The most widespread species, the rufous-tailed jacamar (Galbula ruficauda), occurs in Costa Rica, Trinidad, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina. The distinctive great jacamar ranges from Costa Rica to the Amazon basin. The green-tailed ja-camar (Galbula galbula) is found north and south of the Amazon. More rare is the coppery-chested jacamar (Galbula pastazae), which has a low population. It has been observed at a small number of sites in southern Colombia and along the slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes.

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