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any of 15 species of tropical American birds that constitute the family Galbulidae (order Piciformes). The jacamar has a glittering body, tapered from large head to, in most species, a long, graduated tail; some have square tails. Most are iridescently blue, green, or bronze on back and breast; males are white-throated, females brown-throated. The commonest species is the rufous-tailed jacamar (Galbula ruficauda), 25 cm (10 inches) long, found from southern Mexico to Argentina