<< Previous Next >>

Blue-crowned Motmot

Blue-crowned Motmot
Photo Information
Copyright: Thijs van Balen jr (Pentaxfriend) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 514 W: 24 N: 1888] (8048)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-09-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: nikon D 200, NIKKOR AF-S DX 18-105mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 400, 67mm Hoya HMC
Exposure: f/16, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-10-05 4:20
Viewed: 2991
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Momotidae
Genus: Momotus
Species: M. momota
Binomial name: Momotus momota

The Blue-crowned Motmot, Momotus momota, is a colourful near-passerine bird found in forests and woodlands of eastern Mexico, Central America, northern and central South America, and Trinidad and Tobago. As presently defined, it includes several taxa that possibly should be recognized as valid species, including the Highland Motmot, Momotus aequatorialis.

Description and behavior:

Like most of the Coraciiformes, motmots nest in tunnels in banks, laying about three or four white eggs.

The Blue-crowned Motmot is 38-48 cm long, depending on race. Nominate M. m. momota weighs about 145 g. The tail is very long with a bare-shafted racket tip. The upperparts are green, shading to blue on the lower tail, and the underparts are green or rufous depending on subspecies.

In all except the entirely blue-crowned subspecies coeruliceps, the central crown is black and surrounded by a blue band. There is a black eyemask, and the nape of momota is chestnut. The call is a low owl-like ooo-doot, although there are variations depending on the subspecies involved.

These birds often sit still, and in their dense forest habitat can be difficult to see, despite their size. They eat small prey such as insects and lizards, and will also regularly take fruit.

As presently defined, it is likely that the Blue-crowned Motmot includes several species level taxa. Especially the Andean Highland Motmot, Momotus aequatorialis (Gould, 1858), is frequently considered a separate species, but this treatment is no longer adopted here, following SACC (2005), which noted that the published evidence for treating it as a separate species is weak, but also hoped their decision would stimulate further research on the taxonomy of the M. momota complex. In addition to the Highland Motmot, several major groups have been identified: Blue-diademed Motmot (momota group; found in central and northern South America), Tawny-bellied Motmot (subrufescens group; found in north-western South America and eastern Panama), Lesson's Motmot (lessonii group; found in most of Central America and eastern Mexico) and the 'true' Blue-crowned Motmot (coeruliceps; found in north-eastern Mexico). Additionally, the taxon from Trinidad and Tobago, misleadingly named bahamensis (there are no motmots in the Bahamas), is distinctive, and possibly worthy of species recognition.

Software Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Exposure program Aperture priority
ISO speed ratings ISO 400
Shutter speed value 1/60 s
Aperture value f/16
Exposure bias value 0.00 eV
Metering mode Spot
Flash Strobe return light not detected
Focal length 105 mm
Exposure mode Auto exposure
White balance Auto white balance
Focal length in 35mm film 157 mm
Gain control Low gain up
Contrast Normal
Saturation Normal
Sharpness Hard

horias has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-10-05 4:32]

Waw...wonderful capture, lovely colors and details.

wonderful specie
so good details and amazing colors
a good close up

Hi Thijs,
the sharpness and details are very good,
but it's to much flash for my likings.
I'm not fond of the black BG, this looks like taken in the night.
A fill-in with balance with the natural light had been more nice.


  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2009-10-05 15:49]

une tres belle image!
jolies et naturelles couleurs.
bon cadrage.


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-10-06 21:44]

Hi Thijs,
Now that is a close-up of a motmot.
I don't know what I like more about this bird...
its interesting looks or its interesting name. : )
Amazing details of this unusual bird.
TFS. : )

Calibration Check