Family Puffbirds (Bucconidae)

Least Concern

Spotted Puffbird (Nystactes tamatia)


French: Tamatia tacheté German: Fleckenfaulvogel Spanish: Buco moteado

Bucco Tamatia

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

Cayenne and Brazil


Closely related to N. noanamae. Several other races proposed include inexpectatus (NC Brazil), punctuliger (C Brazil) and interior (SW Brazil), but these apparently represent inconstant, intergrading populations. Race previously hypnaleus sometimes misspelt hypneleus. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. t. tamatia (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) – E Colombia (S to Vaupés) E to Venezuela, the Guianas, and S to N bank of Amazon.
  • N. t. pulmentum (P. L. Sclater, 1856) – SE Colombia S to E Ecuador, NE Peru, W Brazil and NE Bolivia.
  • N. t. hypnaleus (Cabanis & Heine, 1863) – Amazonian Brazil E of R Tapajós.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–18·5 cm; 33–42 g. Diffuse rufous band at base of bill to above and behind eye, changing to indistinct rufous spots on dark brown crown; poorly marked... read more


    Infrequently heard (mainly dawn) song a series of 10–20 soft, whistled “chyoi” or... read more


    Mainly found in várzea and igapó forest, humid forest borders,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Caterpillars, small lizards, spiders (Araneae), scorpions (Scorpiones), flies (Brachycera), beetles (Carabidae, Curculionidae), cicadas,... read more


    Birds in breeding condition in Mar–Apr in Venezuela; courtship feeding in Jun in French Guiana; at nests in arboreal termitaria in... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon in most of range, including the Guianas, Peru and most of Brazil, but easily overlooked and probably more abundant in many regions than... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rasmussen, P.C., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Bonan, A. (2020). Spotted Puffbird (Nystactes tamatia). 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 19 January 2020).