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Blue-crowed motmot

Momotus momota
Photo by Steve Garvie (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
blue-crowned motmot (en); udu-de-coroa-azul (pt); motmot houtouc (fr); barranquero coronado (es); blauscheitelmotmot (de)

Order Coraciiformes
Family Momotidae

Range:This species is found from eastern Mexico, through Central America and into Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, the Guyanas, northern and central Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina. They are also found in Trinidad and Tobago.

Size:These birds are 41-48 cm long and weigh up to 175 g.

Habitat:Blue-crowned motmots are found in a wide range of forested habitats, including tropical evergreen and deciduous forests, coastal forests, mountainous forests semi-arid open woodlands, and secondary vegetation. They can also be found on the edges of rainforests, secondary growth forests, plantations, pastures and rural gardens. They are found from sea level up to an altitude of 2.400 m.

Diet:They mostly eat invertebrates, including butterflies, cicadas, beetles, mantids, spiders, earthworms, centipedes, and snails, but also fruits, small lizards, frogs, birds and small rodents.

Breeding:Blue-crowned motmots mostly breed in August-October. They nest in a burrow excavated into the side of a cliff, river bank or roadside or sometimes use rock crevices. There the female lays 3-4 white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 21 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 29-31 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 3-5weeks later.

Conservation:IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 5-50 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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