Gloss avian

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Gloss avian
Red-tailed Jakamar (Galbula ruficauda)

Red-tailed Jakamar ( Galbula ruficauda )

Row : Land vertebrates (Tetrapoda)
Class : Birds (aves)
Order : Woodpecker birds (Piciformes)
Subordination : Gloss avian
Scientific name
Stresemann , 1934

The glossy birds (Galbuloidea, Syn . : Galbuli, Galbulae) are a subordination of the woodpecker birds (Piciformes).


In their physique, the glossy birds resemble the kingfishers . They are small and compact, the broad wings resemble those of the woodpeckers . The tiny feet have four clawed toes arranged in pairs. Unlike the other woodpecker birds , they cannot climb well, their legs are weak and the tail feathers are not reinforced, in contrast to the woodpeckers, who use their tails to support themselves on trees. The beak is long and spear-shaped. The slit-shaped nostrils are covered by bristles, on the throat is a tuft of longer feathers. All representatives of the glossy birds have an eye ring. Their plumage is dark and predominantly brownish or iridescent green.

Way of life and distribution

Glossy birds sun themselves on branches or look out for insects such as butterflies , flies and beetles near the water .

The birds dig nesting holes in embankments and in the structures of tree-dwelling termites . They lay two to four eggs in the narrow brood chamber. The young hatch with down plumage, they are nestling . Some species breed in colonies, especially the lazy birds from the Monasa genus , which even participate in the rearing of strange young animals.

They are only found in the tropical rainforests and tree savannahs of northern South America and Central America.


The glossy birds are a suborder because they combine characteristics of the kingfisher and woodpeckers . It contains the following families and genera :


  • Theo Jahn: Brehm's new animal encyclopedia. Verlag Herder KG, Freiburg im Breisgau Special edition for Prisma Verlag GmbH, Gütersloh 1982, ISBN 3-570-08606-2 .
  • Joseph Forshaw: Encyclopedia of Birds. Weltbild Verlag GmbH, Augsburg 1999, ISBN 3-8289-1557-4 .

Web links

Commons : Galbulidae  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files
Commons : Bucconidae  - Collection of images, videos and audio files