Rufous Motmot Baryphthengus martii

  • Order: Coraciiformes
  • Family: Momotidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Terry L. Master

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Rufous Motmots are most often heard at dawn and dusk, often for only a brief period. The song is described variously as hoos, hoots or hoops, sometimes given in doublets and triplets, rising and falling in pitch and repeated several times (Slud 1964, Skutch 1971, Forshaw and Cooper 1987). Stiles et al. (1989) describes calls as consisting of 2-3 hollow, resonant hoops followed or answered by a rolling series of huhuhuhuhuhu notes at a lower pitch. Whatever the description, the calls are invariably haunting and seem to echo when given back and forth between individuals. A loud, harsh dry chatter similar to that of a squirrel is given in agitation or during aggressive interactions (Stiles et al. 1989).

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Master, T. L. (2011). Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.