Blue-Crowned Motmot

Blue-Crowned Motmot

Blue-capped motmot

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Subclass
Infraclass
Superorder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Momotus coeruliceps
Population size
5-50 mln
Life Span
20 yrs
WEIGHT
77-175 g
LENGTH
38-43 cm

The Blue-crowned motmot is a colorful bird found in eastern Mexico. It has a black eyemask, blue crown atop its head, green wings and long tail feathers. This bird is very easy to recognize by its long, bright blue racquet-shaped tail feathers which it swings from side to side when it is disturbed. Both the male and female have similar plumage, however, the female is usually slightly smaller in size.

Distribution

Blue-crowned motmots are found in eastern Mexico. Within this range, motmots live in the rainforest, tropical dry forest, and woodlands, usually near the water. They can also be found in forest edges, coffee plantations, and shady gardens.

Geography

Continents
Countries

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Blue-crowned motmots are secretive birds; they often sit still, and in their dense forest habitat can be difficult to see, despite their size. They are active at twilight, and during the day they rest in the foliage of a tree. Blue-crowned motmots live in pairs and each pair has its feeding territory. The birds usually forage separately and may not indicate that they are mated. Blue-crowned motmots can be usually heard at dawn when they emit their low owl-like 'ooo-doot' call.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Blue-crowned motmots are carnivores (insectivores) and herbivores (frugivores). They eat small prey such as insects and lizards, and will also regularly take fruit.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
March-April
INCUBATION PERIOD
2-3 weeks
INDEPENDENT AGE
1 month
BABY NAME
chick
BABY CARRYING
3-4 eggs

Blue-crowned motmots are monogamous but don't form long-lasting pair bonds. During the breeding season, males perform courtship dance in order to attract the female. Motmots begin to excavate their nests between August and September; this is the rainy season and the good time for excavating when the soil is soft. The nests are dug in the shape of tunnels often located in banks or other places that are difficult to discover. After the nest is ready, the pair leaves and returns only in March-April to breed. The female lays about 3 or 4 white eggs and both parents incubate them within 2-3 weeks. The chicks are altricial; they are born helpless and blind. The parents take care of them within a month after hatching until the young are ready to leave the nest and become independent. Blue-crowned motmots usually reach reproductive maturity and start breeding when they are one yearl old.

Population

Population threats

Blue-crowned motmots are not considered threatened at present, however, in the future, the loss of habitat may pose a serious threat to these beautiful birds.

Population number

According to the Birds of the World resource the total population size of the Blue-crowned motmot is around 5-50 million individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The Blue-crowned motmot's tail is often called "racket"-like. In fact the feathers don't grow in that way it is the bird prunes them down to create this distinctive shape.
  • The word "motmot" is an American-Spanish word that imitates the call made by these birds.
  • Blue-crowned motmots have unique feet; they are very short with only one rear toe and the middle toe is almost fused to the inner one.
  • Motmots are often called "clock birds" due to their interesting habit to swing their tail from side to side like a pendulum.

References

1. Blue-Crowned Motmot on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-capped_motmot
2. Blue-Crowned Motmot on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/61634591/95172887

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