Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum


Fairly common throughout its range, Broad-billed Motmot inhabits humid forest in foothills and lowlands. This species generally stays in the mid levels of primary forests, often in relatively open areas. Most often encountered as singles or in pairs, birds sit quietly between sallying forays for insects and other small animals. Compared to Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii), a morphologically similar species which occurs in many of the same areas, Broad-billed Motmots may be distinguished by their smaller size, blue-green chins, and larger central chest spots. Overall, they appear chunky and large-headed. Of this species’ six described subspecies, the three found east of the Andes form a rather distinct clade. They lack tail rackets, and are sometimes considered to represent their own species, called “Plain-tailed Motmot.” All subspecies share a similar voice: a short, nasal groan given intermittently.

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Song (Broad-billed)

© Katherine Lauck

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

Recommended Citation

Broad-billed Motmot (Electron platyrhynchum), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: