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Amazonian Motmot

From Opus

Amazonian Motmot Photo by Marcelo PaduaChapada dos Guimaraes, Brazil
Amazonian Motmot
Photo by Marcelo Padua
Chapada dos Guimaraes, Brazil
Momotus momota


[edit] Identification

38-48 cm
Green upperparts, green or rufous underparts depending on subspecies (very variable how dark), black central spot on upper breast, black central crown surrounded by blue band, black eyemask sometimes edged pale at the back.

Tail is green with blue lower tail with two longest feathers showing an area missing barbs followed by an area with barbs (rackets); the tip of these feathers is black in some subspecies.

Notice that the tail feathers are normal when growing, the barbs fall off shortly after, and it is therefore possible to see a bird of this species that is missing rackets (feathers may also break below the rackets).

FemalePhoto by LcverissimoTeodoro Sampaio, São Paulo State, Brazil, November 2012
Photo by Lcverissimo
Teodoro Sampaio, São Paulo State, Brazil, November 2012

The female is smaller and duller.

Juvenile has reduced black on upper breast.

[edit] Distribution

Northern half of South America.

[edit] Taxonomy

There has been a recent split of a species known as Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus momota) into six species:

[edit] Subspecies

Clements recognizes 8 subspecies[1]:

  • M. m. momota in tropical eastern Venezuela to the Guianas and northern Brazil
  • M. m. microstephanus in Colombia and Ecuador (east of Andes) and adjacent northwest Brazil
  • M. m. ignobilis in eastern Amazonian Peru and western Brazil
  • M. m. nattereri at the tropical base of Andes of northeast Bolivia
  • M. m. pilcomajensis from southern Bolivia to southern Brazil and northwest Argentina
  • M. m. simplex from the Brazil/Peru border east to Rio Tapajós and south to northern Mato Grosso
  • M. m. parensis in eastern Brazil (Rio Tocantins to Maranhão and Piauí)
  • M. m. cametensis in north-central Brazil between Rio Tapajós and Rio Tocantins

[edit] Habitat

Habits near water, rivers, streams, and builds its nest in hollows excavated on banks. Likes to perch on branches in the shadow, inside forest, in hedgerows, or in scrub.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

It nests in tunnels in a bank, 3-4 white eggs are laid.

[edit] Diet

The diet includes insects, lizards and fruit.

[edit] Vocalisation

A song consisting of two hoots.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from
  2. F. Gary Stiles 2009. A REVIEW OF THE GENUS MOMOTUS (CORACIIFORMES: MOMOTIDAE) IN NORTHERN SOUTH AMERICA AND ADJACENT AREAS. Ornitología Colombiana No.8 (2009): 29-75. Subject of Birdforum discussion here
  3. BF member observations

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