• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Broad-billed Motmot - BirdForum Opus

Photo by steveblain
Milpe Reserve, Ecuador, August 2004
Electron platyrhynchum


31–39 cm (12¼-15¼ in)
Rufous head and chest with black mask that tapers to a point in the rear. Turquoise belly and crissum. Back is green, with blue wing edges and lower tail.
The tail is long, with a racket tip (created by the bird by plucking) on the west slope of the Andes; no racket on east side. Narrow black tip.
Central black chest spot.
As indicated by the popular English name, the bill is broad, black, and curved downward.

Similar Species

Subspecies minus
Photo by Stanley Jones
Pipeline Road, Gamboa, Panamá Province, Panama, December 2017

Would be unmistakable, except for confusion with the similar Rufous Motmot. The latter is considerably larger, has a broader mask, narrower bill, and most diagnostic, rufous plumage that extends to the lower belly.


Northern half of South America north through Central America to Honduras.



Six subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • E. p. minus:
  • E. p. platyrhynchum:
  • E. p. colombianum : Northern Colombia (humid lowlands north of the Andes)


  • E. p. pyrrholaemum:
  • E. p. orienticola:
  • Western Brazil (Río Purús region)
  • E. p. chlorophrys:
  • Brazil (Mato Grosso, Pará and Goiás)


Lower and middle levels in humid forest and forest borders. Observed at heights up to 1000 m.


Sallies from a perch, to capture large insects from surfaces (not in mid-air, flycatcher style). Perches patiently, often in an exposed situation. Individual or in pairs.


Their main diet consists of insects and their larvae, with the addition of spiders, centipedes, scorpions, small frogs, lizards and snakes.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Jan 2018)
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1