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Andean Motmot - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Highland Motmot or Equatorial Motmot

Photo by Pitter
Dapa, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, December, 2012

Momotus aequatorialis


A typical Motmot in that the tail distally has racquets at the end of the tail. It is mostly green both above and below, with throat washed slight to strongly blue, breast washed with ochraceous-olive, sides and rear of neck sometimes also with ochraceous wash, tail green with blue distally. In the head is black from the side of bill circling around the back of the head, bordered above by a broad turquoise diadem and a central black crown.


Southern birds (subspecies chlorolaemus) differ in having a more clean, green color overall.


South America: found from Colombia to Ecuador and Peru.


There has been a recent split of a species known as Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus momota) into six species:


Photo by Robert_Scanlon
Nr Cali, Colombia, May 2004

There are two subspecies[1]:

  • M. a. aequatorialis:
  • M. a. chlorolaemus:
  • Subtropical eastern Peru


Secondary growth Andean forest.


Breeding: nests at end of tunnel excavated in earthen embankments.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. F Gary Stiles in Ornitología Colombiana No.8 (2009): 29-75 published an analysis of the Momota that resulted in split of this species.

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