Amazonian motmot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Amazonian motmot
Amazonian Motmot (Momotus momota) (38484878185).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Momotidae
Genus: Momotus
M. momota
Binomial name
Momotus momota
Momotus momota dist.png

Ramphastos momota Linnaeus, 1766

The Amazonian motmot (Momotus momota) is a colorful near-passerine bird in the family Momotidae. It is found in the Amazon lowlands and low Andean foothills from eastern Venezuela to eastern Brazil and northeastern Argentina.[2]

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The Amazonian motmot and the blue-capped (Momotus coeruleiceps), whooping (M. subrufrescens), Trinidad (M. bahamensis), Lesson's (M. lessonii), and Andean motmots (M. aequatorialis) were all at one time considered conspecific.[3][4][5] The Amazonian motmot has nine recognized subspecies; they are listed in the "Distribution and habitat" section below.[2]


The Amazonian motmot's plumage varies among the subspecies. The bodies of all are shades of green. All have a long tail that has extended feathers with racquet tips that are green or black. Most have a black eyemask, though their size and shape differ. The central crown is black and surrounded or partially bordered by a blue band. The nominate subspecies has a chestnut nape. Momotus momota ignobilis and M. m. cametensis have more extensive chestnut on the neck and face.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Amazonian motmot is widely distributed in South America east of the Andes. Nine subspecies are recognized:[2]

  • Momotus momota momota - eastern Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and northern Brazil
  • M. m. microstephanus - southeastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, and northwestern Brazil
  • M. m. ignobilis - eastern Peru and western Brazil
  • M. m. nattereri - northeasten Bolivia
  • M. m. simplex - western to west central Brazil south of the Amazon
  • M. m. cametensis - north central Brazil
  • M. m. parensis - northeastern Brazil
  • M. m. marcgravianus - eastern Brazil
  • M. m. pilcomajensis - southern Bolivia, southern Brazil, and northwestern Argentina

Throughout its range the Amazonian motmot inhabits the interior and edges of humid lowand forest. It is found up to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) in Venezuela, to 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in Ecuador, and to 750 m (2,460 ft) in Peru.[4]



The Amazonian motmot is omnivorous. It has been documented eating insects and other arthropods, small mammals and reptiles, and fruit.[4]


Like most Coraciiformes, the Amazonian motmot nests in long tunnels in earth banks. Very little else is known about its breeding phenology[4]


The Amazonian motmot's song has been described as "a fast, hollow hoo-do" and "a bubbling whOOP-oo" [1]. It also makes "a gruff kak", sometimes in a series [2][4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Amazonian Motmot Momotus momota". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P. (January 2021). "IOC World Bird List (v 11.1)". Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  3. ^ Remsen, J. V., Jr., J. I. Areta, E. Bonaccorso, S. Claramunt, A. Jaramillo, D. F. Lane, J. F. Pacheco, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 19 January 2021. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithological Society. retrieved January 19, 2021
  4. ^ a b c d e f Orzechowski, S. C. and T. S. Schulenberg (2020). Amazonian Motmot (Momotus momota), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved May 5, 2021
  5. ^ Stiles, F. Gary (2009). "A review of the genus Momotus (Coraciiformes:Momotidae) in Northern South America and adjacent areas" (PDF). Ornitología Colombiana. 8: 29–75. ISSN 1794-0915. Retrieved May 5, 2021.