1. Ice Swimmer says

    Beautiful and also quite strange-looking. According to Wikipedia this is puuhalaiskuri in Finnish, the name means approximately “a busy idler”, laiskuri means a lazy person and puuha is activity, either tasks or hobbies.

  2. kestrel says

    I thought it would be like a king fisher but they say it’s an insectivore. Really cool bird.

  3. rq says

    It does have a kookaburra-type look to it (which is kind of like a giant-kingfisher-type look).
    I love the black collar, in that light it stands out more than the russet throat. The look in its eye, though, is quite piercing.

  4. quotetheunquote says

    @Ice Swimmer-

    That finnish name is interestingly appropriate, since the birds in this group (puffbirds in general) are well-known as examplars of the “sit and wait” feeding strategy; their modus operandus is to perch in absolute stillness, sometimes for many minutes at a time -- then, when a large insect goes by, they sally out after it, quite energentically, snatch it in that big honker, and carry it back to their perch. If its a VERY large insect, they’ll bash it to bits against the tree before gulping it down.

    (One does wonder how these names common names arise, in an area that traditionally has no examples of the group; presumably a committe of ornithologists get together to make them up.)

    @kestrel & rq
    I’ve seen kookaburras, too, and have to agree with you. I really think this is another illustration of convergent evolution -- not at all related species that both have occupied the niche of hunting similar-sized prey (big insects for the puffbird, small lizards [and such] for the kingfisher). The also share the characteristic of foraging for this prey in forest or open woodland, hence plenty of perches with a good view to hunt from.

    One big distinction between the two -- puffbirds are, as a rule, a lot, a lot, a lot ….. quieter.

  5. rq says

    They do it by committee. I once ran across a wonderful paper that was basically a list of all the officially accepted names for all kinds of world birds -- as settled on by a committee called together for the purpose. Some were translations of the original common name (or one of them), some were translations or transliterations of the Latin, others were quite original. I’m pretty sure they do the same with insects.

  6. Crimson Clupeidae says

    It does really resemble a kingfisher. It even has the neck ring like a collared kingfisher (although a different pattern).

    Cool looking bird, and great picture.

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