The Motmots (bird family Momotidae) are restricted to the Neotropics, which includes southern Mexico, Central and South America and the West Indies; although the largest diversity occurs in Middle America (Mexico, Central America, and sometimes including the West Indies).

These woodland or forest birds have colorful plumages and a heavy bill. All, except the Tody Motmot, have long tails sometimes with a racket-like tip. Motmots often move their tail back and forth.

Blue-crowned Motmot, Momotus momota, Aguas Calientes, Peru (some books call this Peruvian bird the Highland Motmot, Momotus aequatorialis

Recognized Species – Family Momotidae

  • Genus Hylomanes
    • Tody Motmot, Hylomanes momotula
  • Genus Aspatha
    • Blue-throated Motmot, Aspatha gularis
  • Genus Momotus
    • Russet-crowned Motmot, Momotus mexicanus
    • Blue-crowned Motmot, Momotus momota
  • Genus Baryphthengus
    • Rufous Motmot, Baryphthengus martii
    • Rufous-capped Motmot, Baryphthengus ruficapillus
  • Genus Electron
  • Genus Eumomota
    • Turquoise-browed Motmot, Eumomota superciliosa


Nesting / Breeding

Motmots make their nests in tunnels in banks. The average clutch consists of 4 white eggs, which hatch after about 20 days. Both parents raise the young. The young fledge about 30 days later.


Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on insects and lizard, but will also take fruit.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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