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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Blue-capped Motmot Momotus coeruliceps

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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Members of the "Blue-crowned Motmot" complex (see Systematics) can be divided into two vocal groups, those that give songs consist of a single note, and those whose song contains two notes. The Blue-crowned Motmot is a member of the double-noted group. The song is transcribed as "a soft, resonant hoop-hoop or coot-coot, heard most often at dawn" (Stiles and Skutch 1989), or as "a distinctive, low double-hoot, oot-oot or hoop-hoop, often heard before dawn, suggesting an owl" (Howell and Webb 1995).

Other vocalizations include "a low, hollow whoo-whoo hoot, especially near burrow; in aggressive interactions a hoarse, dry coughing bark, sometimes in a series like the chatter of a large squirrel; a long series of hoots that accelerates into a gobble when alarmed" (Stiles and Skutch 1989); and "a hard, hollow clucking, kluk-kluk-kluk ... or klok klok ... in alarm, and a slightly bouncing-ball-like wuuh wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh, suggesting Spectacled Owl [Pulsatrix perspicillata]" (Howell and Webb 1995).

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

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