Jacamar, a diurnal fissirostral bird of the kingfisher family, and subfamily galbulince, comprising the two genera galbiila (Mohr.) and jacamerops (Cuv.) The plumage is brilliant, green predominating, and the habitat is tropical South America and some of the West Indian islands. In the genus galbula the bill is long, slender, straight, pointed, and four-sided; the wings are moderate and rounded, with the fourth quill longest; tail elongated and graduated; tarsi very short, slender, and nearly covered with feathers; the toes two before and two behind, the inner hind one very small (in some species wanting), and the outer anterior one the longest. About ten species are described, inhabiting the moist forests, and leading a solitary life; they perch on naked branches, whence they dart in pursuit of insects, in the manner of the bee-eaters; some species are said to feed on fish and their fry. The nest is a hole in a tree or a river bank, with a small entrance, and the eggs are usually three in number. The green jacamar ( G. viridis, Lath.) is about the size of a lark, of a brilliant glossy green, with white chin and rufous abdomen; the paradise jacamar (G. paradisea, Linn.), with the same metallic green color, has a violet-brown head, and white throat, front neck, and under wing coverts.
In jacamerops the bill is shorter, broader, and more curved, more like that of the bee-eaters. The species are few, inhabiting tropical South America, with habits similar to those of the preceding genus. The great jacamar (J. grandis, Gmel.) is about 11 in. long, of a coppery green above, and beneath ferruginous.
Jacamar (Galbula viridis).