28 December, 2009

Blue-diademed Motmot

Scientific Name: Momotus momota

Population Estimate: 5M-50M

Range / Habitat: From southeastern Mexico, through Central America, into Argentina in South America. Favors subtropical and tropical lowland and montane moist forests.

Field Notes: Unique and dramatic-looking bird with vibrant plumage and racket-tipped tail (best seen in bottom photo). They nest in cave and limestone crevices. Will often sit quietly for long periods in the forest so can be difficult to locate. Turquoise-browed Motmot with long bare tail shafts, bright turquoise brow, rufous back, lack of black throat patch. Keel-billed Motmot with brighter turquoise brow, rufous forehead, larger black chest spot.

Personal Notes: One of our favorite neotropical birds. Mayan lore has it that leaf-cutter ants removed a portion of the motmot's tail when it fell asleep in their path.

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