Friday, 7 March 2014

Broad-billed motmot

Electron platyrhynchum

Photo by Joost Brandsma (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
broad-billed motmot (en); udu-de-bico-largo (pt); motmot à bec large (fr); momoto picoancho (es); plattschnabelmotmot (de)

Order Coraciiformes
Family Momotidae

This species is found from the Honduras south to Peru, northern Bolivia and north-western Brazil. It is mostly absent from northern Brazil, Venezuela and the Guyanas.

These birds are 30-40 cm long and weigh 55-66 g.

The broad-billed motmot is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using dry tropical forests and degraded patches of former forests. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.100 m.

They feed mainly on insects and their larvae, particularly cicadas but also butterflies and dragonflies. They also take spiders, centipedes, small frogs and lizards.

Broad-billed motmots breed in March-July. The nest is a deep burrow excavated into a bank, often over a river or stream. There the female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 3 weeks. The chicks are fed insects by both parents and fledge 24-25 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common but patchily distributed. It is suspected to loose 13-14 % of suitable habitat over the next decade based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, so the population is likely to suffer a small decline n the near future.

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