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Turquoise-browed Motmot Eumomota superciliosa


The Turquoise-browed Motmot is surely one of the most flamboyantly plumaged of a remarkable family, and it is sufficiently distinctive from other motmots to be afforded its own genus. Given its relatively small range, in the Yucatán Peninsula of eastern Mexico and northernmost Guatemala, and on the Pacific slope of Middle America, from southern Mexico south to northwest Costa Rica, it might seem remarkable that as many as seven subspecies are generally recognized. Virtually all of them have largely olive-green underparts with a cinnamon or rufous belly, and a darker reddish patch on the mantle, but the most eye-catching features are the turquoise flash in the flight feathers, the similarly colored eyebrow contrasting with the black mask, and the long graduated bright blue tail, which has the central feathers twice as long as the rest. Although they are reduced to mere shafts over more than half their length, they are ‘capped’ by black-tipped turquoise rackets. The dark bill is relatively long and slightly decurved.

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© David L. Ross, Jr.

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: