The jacamars have bright and glossy plumages with long, thin and pointy bills, and long tails. The legs in all members of the family Galbulidae are short and weak, their feet are zygodactylic (two forward-pointing toes, two backward-pointing). There are minor differences in plumage based on sex, males often having a white patch on the breast and throat. Jacamars are insectivores, taking a variety of insect prey. Some species specialize on butterflies and moths that they hawk in the air. Birds sit in favored perches and sally towards the prey when it is close enough. Only the great jacamar varies from the rest of the family, taking prey by gleaning
and occasionally taking small lizards and spiders. The breeding systems of jacamars have not been studied in depth. They are thought to generally be monogamous, although a few species are thought to engage in cooperative breeding sometimes, with several adults sharing duties. The jacamars nest in holes either in the soil or in arboreal termite mounds. Clutch sizes are between one and four eggs. Both parents participate in incubation. Chicks are born with down feathers, unique among the Piciformes. There are four genera and 13 species of Jacamars known to occur in Peru. Photo: Bluish-fronted Jacamar. ©Steve Sanchez.