Common Name: Motmot

Type: Bird


Range: Motmot ranges from northeastern Mexico to Costa Rica and most of South America. Nearly seven species are available in Argentina, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Nicaragua. The Guianas, Suriname and Venezuela have only one specie.
The Motmot colorful bird found in the low land in forest and the evergreen tropical forest in central and south America. It is found in the dry forest of Guanacaste area and the northern part of Puntarenas. The larger and brighter specie of Motmot can be found in Monteverde. According to experts, that s6 species of Motmots reside in Costa Rica.

Size: The Motmot is 34–48 cm (13–18 in) long, depending on race. Average length is 34 centimeters (13.39 inches). It has a very long tail with a bare-shafted racket tip

Weight: It may weigh as little as 60-65 grams, while the upland Motmot may weigh up to 175 grams. The average wingspan is 122 mm ( 4.80 inches)

Diet : Motmots feed invertebrates, or animals like butterflies, beetles,caterpillars, centipedes, crabs, dragonflies, earthworms, millipedes, scorpions, spiders, snails, nestling birds, frogs, lizards, small fishes, and small snakes. They also eat fruits. It is noticed that the larger species has more fruits in his diet.

Average life span:
The life span in Wild is unknown but it is believed that they live around 12 to 16 years . In Captivity they live up to 20 years.

Habitat: Motmots are mostly found in the tropics or the mountainous forests and the woodlands. They can exist in an array of habitat. However, they prefer to make their home in the evergreen forest and tropical atmosphere. They can b found in mangrove areas and at the edge of forest. During the wet season they live in dense forest and during the dry season in open regions.
They are available in the national parks and natural reserves of Costa Rica like, Santa Rosa National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Palo Verde National Park.

Motmots are solitary birds but they are paired bonds throughout their lives. Males and females sing jointly as a mating procedure that also helps to toughen the bond during the non-breeding season and maintaining the security of the territory.

They build nests by themselves, but occasionally in the company of others. Nests are generally in burrows in mud banks and in rocks also. They lay shiny and white eggs on bare soil. The female lay three to five per clutch once in a year. Eggs are incubated by both the sexes. The incubation period is between 17-22 days, depending on the species. Chicks hatch featherless, blind, and dependent on their parents. Both sexes care for the brood, feeding them. The young depart the nest during the 24-32 days after hatching.

Motmot are the birds found in Costa Rica with a colorful plumage and a relatively heavy bill. The bill is heavy but short and broad. They have a long tail. The males have a slightly larger tail than the females. They eat small insects and lizards while they also consume fruits thus, they can consume a lot of variety of food. In particular the Costa Rican Motmot also fed on poison dart frog. It has enough toxins to kill 10 men but still they eat it.

There is a total of nine species of Motmot found throughout the world. Six out of them can be found in Costa Rica. Rufous is the largest of the Motmot species that are found in Costa Rica.
Rufous Motmots are very important for the seed dispersal in Costa Rica. This is because the digestion process is so rapid that the seeds they eat are not digested and come out of their bodies through urine and thus, fall on large distances from the parent plants. This is a great benefit of the parent plants. Their population largely depends on these Motmots.

They lay four white eggs at a time. The eggs are white in color. The hatching time of the egg is about 20 days but the young one does not leave it for more thirty days. Both of the parents take care of the young ones. They have alternative duties to perform this important task. For some time one parent protects them and for the other time it is the job of the other parent.

It adapts readily to local conditions. It does not have strict conditions of survival. They can be found anywhere in the forests of Costa Rica.
Turquoise-browed Motmot is another Motmot species found in Costa Rica. It has an interesting behavior that it digs 0.6-2.5 m in the ground with a radius of approximately 4 cm. They avoid coral snakes but do not fear from the non poisonous species of the snakes. It means that they have good enough knowledge of harmful snakes.
Barbs found at the end of the tail feathers fall off as they are weak. It was an old concept that they pluck their feathers to give them a proper shape. But actually they fall off because of being weak.

They form large colonies of almost forty members each. They can be seen in these groups on the ground and in the sky.

They move their tails back and forth in a wag-display. Research has shown that they do so when predators approach them. Thus, they give the predator a signal that it has seen it. This behavior also helps other Motmots if they have not already seen the predator. The predator also gets an advantage that it now knows that they are no benefits of attacking because the Motmot will run away so, it does not waste its time and goes away without attacking. This is a good way of protecting without doing anything.

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