Broad billed Motmot


This gorgeous chunky bird was one our guide in Costa Rica spotted and pointed out to us. I’d heard of motmots (there’s a name to stick in the memory!) but didn’t really know what they loooked like, except that they were on the “oooh!” side of exotic.

A spot of research tells me that they eat frogs, lizards and small prey.  The beak of this particular motmot is strong and broad, no doubt making it formidable when feeding. The Broad billed Motmot is just one of this species – some have more vibrant colours.  It’s just about possible to see the flash of turquoise under the beak.It’s the eyes that really catch my attention – large, dark, alert, attentive, always on the look out. I’m pretty sure it knew it was being watched!

As it sat in the tree, it was wagging and twitching its tail rhythmically from side to side, like a pendulum. I’ve read that the tail wagging happens when the bird senses danger or an intrusion into its territory – we were near enough to pose a threat to this bird’s space and the only capture that was going on was by camera.

What I really liked was what the guide told us about it’s name and it’s tail, which has a distinctive gap in the feathers towards the end, before ending in two final feathery flourishes.

“Tick tock – mot mot” said the guide. I got what he meant!


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