Family Puffbirds (Bucconidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-capped Nunlet (Nonnula ruficapilla)


French: Barbacou à couronne rousse German: Rotscheitel-Faulvogel Spanish: Monjilla coronada

Lypornix ruficapilla


, 1844,



Closely related to N. frontalis and N. amaurocephala; has been treated as conspecific with former, and also with N. brunnea. Race pallescens of N. frontalis has on occasion been considered to belong in present species, although geographically and morphologically distant. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. r. rufipectus Chapman, 1928 – NE Peru.
  • N. r. ruficapilla (Tschudi, 1844) – E Peru and W Brazil S of Amazon.
  • N. r. nattereri Hellmayr, 1921 – S Amazon Basin in Mato Grosso, N Bolivia and N Brazil (W Pará).
  • N. r. inundata Novaes, 1991 – R Tocantins, in E Pará (Brazil).
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5–14 cm; 14–22 g. Extensive deep chestnut crown patch; entire face, nape and sides of breast cold grey; upperparts from mantle plain dull brown, more... read more


    A long series (13–30 notes) of sharp, clear, short, upward-inflected whistles, “fwick!-... read more


    Inhabits subcanopy and undergrowth in humid forest edges, terra firme forest, second... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects found in 4 stomachs of specimens from Bolivia. No further details documented.


    No information; 4 adults collected in Jun in Bolivia, and 3 in Jun and Aug in C Brazil, were not breeding.


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Described as rare or uncommon in Peru, but this is probably in part a matter of perception, and in part a question of habitat; thus, records show 19... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rasmussen, P.C. & Collar, N. (2020). Rufous-capped Nunlet (Nonnula ruficapilla). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 January 2020).