Friday, February 25, 2011

Turquois-browed Motmot

The exotic Turquis-browed Motmot with its racquet-shaped tail feathers; Puerto Morelos, Mexico; 12/24/10.
One of the most exotic birds we saw while exploring the jungles of Puerto Morelos was the Turquois-browed Motmot with its unique tail - two long tail feathers that have racket-tips at the end of long bare shafts. This feather shape is not genetic, but instead develops as the weaker middle portion of the feather is rubbed off against branches or other objects. Although the photo (Above) of this Motmot is too backlit to see, it has vibrant colors: turquoise plumage on the throat surrounded by black from the chin to the chest, and a turquoise green eyebrow. The underparts are dull cinnamon, and the "racquet" tips of its tail are also turquois and black.
The Turquoise is smaller (approx. 14" long) than its other member of the Motmots (Blue-crowned Motmot) and it ranges from southeast Mexico to Costa Rica. It can survive in a variety of habitats, but it prefers tropical deciduous and tropical evergreen gallery forest. It may also be found in forest edges and mangroves; savanna trees and thickets, particularly during the wet season.

We either saw this Turquois several times or we saw several different ones - and each time it was a thrill beacuse of its fantastic profile.

1 comment:

~Val said...

I really enjoyed seeing these because they felt like the most tropical birds of our outing.