Lesson's Motmot Momotus lessonii


Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Members of the "Blue-crowned Motmot" complex (see Systematics) can be divided into two vocal groups, those that give songs consist of a single note, and those whose song contains two notes. The Blue-crowned Motmot is a member of the double-noted group. The song is transcribed as "a soft, resonant hoop-hoop or coot-coot, heard most often at dawn" (Stiles and Skutch 1989), or as "a distinctive, low double-hoot, oot-oot or hoop-hoop, often heard before dawn, suggesting an owl" (Howell and Webb 1995).

Other vocalizations include "a low, hollow whoo-whoo hoot, especially near burrow; in aggressive interactions a hoarse, dry coughing bark, sometimes in a series like the chatter of a large squirrel; a long series of hoots that accelerates into a gobble when alarmed" (Stiles and Skutch 1989); and "a hard, hollow clucking, kluk-kluk-kluk ... or klok klok ... in alarm, and a slightly bouncing-ball-like wuuh wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh, suggesting Spectacled Owl [Pulsatrix perspicillata]" (Howell and Webb 1995).

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Lesson's Motmot (Momotus lessonii), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/bucmot2