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 - Blue-capped Motmot
 - Blue-capped Motmot

Blue-capped Motmot Momotus coeruliceps

Sophia Catherine Orzechowski and Thomas S. Schulenberg
Version: 1.0 — Published April 22, 2011

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Blue-capped Motmot is the northernmost member of the "Blue-crowned Motmot" complex; indeed, its distribution is one the most northern of all the motmots, rivaled only by that of Russet-crowned Motmot (Momotus mexicanus) of western Mexico. Blue-capped Motmot takes its name from the completely turquise blue crown; in all related species, the center of the crown is black, circled by a ring of bright blue along the sides of the crown. Blue-capped Motmot has a restricted distribution in northeastern Mexico, from Nuevo León and Tamaulipas south to northern Veracruz. Its range abuts that of Lesson's Motmot (Momotus lessionii), but very little is known about the region where these two species replace each other; some apparent hybrids have been reported, but the incidence of hybridization has not been documented. Like other species of motmots, birds often perch on a favored branch, where they cock their long tail back and forth like a clock pendulum and occasionally sally after a flying insect. The natural history of Blue-capped Motmot is similar in many respects to several other allopatric species of motmots in the "Blue-crowned Motmot" complex (Blue-capped, Lesson's, Whooping M. subrufescens, Trinidad M. bahamensis, Amazonian M. momota, and Andean M. aequatorialis motmots), all of which formerly were classified as a single, highly variable species.

Distribution of the Blue-capped Motmot - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Blue-capped Motmot

Recommended Citation

Orzechowski, S. C. and T. S. Schulenberg (2011). Blue-capped Motmot (Momotus coeruliceps), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.bucmot1.01