Thursday, July 4, 2013

Guys, It's a Puffbird

OK!  Wow.  How embarrassing. Two people responded to that photo quiz, and one of them is a writer on this blog.  Is it more embarrassing for me for not sparking the interest of enough neotropical bird nerds, or is it more embarrassing for you for not knowing how to use a field guide (Boom)?  I'll never admit defeat, but just know this, America, Seagull Steve got it right.  It's a Whiskey Whiskey Papa Uniform, or in non-military 4-letter code a WWPU, or in standard English a White-whiskered Puffbird.
A more birder-friendly, though certainly less mind-boggling, angle of White-whiskered Puffbird.  [Photo by Katia Alpizar]
I FUGGING love this family of birds (Bucconidae).  By far the one of the coolest avian families on the planet, and that's not an opinion, nor is it up for debate.  I take my bird families very seriously and the the two best competitors in no particular order are Tyrannidae (New World/Tyrant Flycatchers) and Trochillidae (Hummingbirds).  Maybe it's my affinidae I mean affinity for the neotropics that makes me choose these three, but their epicness will not be disputed; not on my watch.
Another member of the family, a Swallow-winged Puffbird in Caxias, Brazil.
Two specimens of the other top bird families Tyrannidae: Black-capped Flycatcher (above) and Trochillidae: Green-fronted Lancebill (below).  
As a side note, Cory Ritter of BoomCha "fame" had an interesting name for the quiz bird, Ivory-bristled Fluffball.  Either he knew the bird's true identity and decided to use synonyms as some sort of sick, twisted, midwestern-style joke (people from Wisconsin shouldn't be trusted and there jokes not tolerated), or he happened to name the bird very similarly to how taxonomists did in the past.  Either way, I prefer his name.  Say it with me, Ivory-bristled Fluffball.  Very good...

Happy Independence Day.  I'm feeling pretty free today.  There's free healthcare down here in Costa Rica for example.



  1. I'm so good at stuff. WTF is a Swallow-winged Puffbird? Ridic.

    Stop showing that Lancebill I cant handle it.

    Oh DIOMEDEIDAE > other birds.

    1. I knew that lancebill would be too much for you. Diomedeidae are cool. They're top 10 for sure. Every man has their type. You just happen to like them big and sea. No judgement here.

      Also, to be honest, if I had to go top three I'm not sure puffbirds would be there. I mean think about all those great families: cotingas, manakins, goatsuckers, birds of paradise, and the list goes on. Puffbirds are up there though.

  2. Luke, i tried to guess, but in didn't go through on my phone, you'll have to trust me. However, now I can't remember what my guess was, so no evidence either. But I wanted to say how hyped I was to see an author I knew in this season's birding. Congrats man, happy tropical birding,


    1. Alright! Thanks for reading. You're the only person who noticed. How is everything? We need to bring back Derek and friends. I'm thinking more than just friends II. Just a thought.