Blue-Crowned MotMot

Blue-Crowned Motmot

Momotus momota

DID YOU KNOW?

These birds nest in burrows that they excavate in the ground.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Upland Tropical Rain Forest

Blue-Crowned MotMot Blue-Crowned MotMot Blue-Crowned MotMot Blue-Crowned MotMot

Blue-Crowned Motmot

This bird has green, olive and blue feathers on its back and tail. It has a wide black band through the eye, accented by the metallic blue feathers that give the blue-crowned motmot its name.

Its beak is short, slightly down-curved and serrated along the edges of the upper mandible. The bird is easily recognized by its long, racquet-shaped central tail feathers. Sometimes the blue-crowned motmot can be seen perched on a branch, swinging these tail feathers back and forth like a pendulum. Motmots are most vocal at dawn, calling with a soft and monotonous “whoot whoot, whoot whoot.”

Diet

Prey includes small lizards and rodents, frogs, birds, arthropods, centipedes, spiders, butterflies, cicadas, beetles, mantises and small pieces of fruit. Motmots sit quietly in trees, waiting for prey. They often whack their prey against a branch before eating it.

Size

Blue-crowned motmots have a body length ranging from 17 to 20 inches, including tail.

Range

They inhabit a wide geographic range, including Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago.

Population Status

Blue-crowned motmots are common throughout their range. They are not listed as threatened or endangered.

Predators

Ocelots, margays, birds of prey and snakes are known to eat motmots. Eggs and chicks may be eaten by small mammals and snakes.

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A Note From the Caretaker

Motmots burrow far into the ground to nest. Their nest entrances can often be spotted from the Upland Tropical Rain Forest deck. Look for a male motmot feeding the female—it’s an indication that the pair has bonded!