Jeff Wendorff's photography portfolio of Motmots from the family Motmotidae.


The Motmots or Momotidae are a family of birds in the near passerine order Coraciiformes, which also includes the kingfishers, bee-eaters and rollers. All extant Motmots are restricted to woodland or forest in the Neotropics, and the largest diversity is in Middle America. They have a colourful plumage and a relatively heavy bill. Motmots have relatively long tails that in some species have a distinctive racket-like tip.

Motmots eat small prey such as insects and lizards, and will also take fruit. In Costa Rica, motmots have been observed feeding on poison dart frogs.

Like most of the Coraciiformes, Motmots nest in tunnels in banks, laying about four white eggs. Some species form large colonies of up to 40 paired individuals. The eggs hatch after about 20 days, and the young leave the nest after another 30 days. Both parents care for the young.

Motmots often move their tail back and forth in a wag-display that commonly draws attention to an otherwise hidden bird. Research indicates that motmots perform the wag-display when they detect predators and that the display is likely to communicate that the motmot is aware of the predator and is prepared to escape.

I teach wildlife and nature photography workshops across the US and lead safaris in Africa as well. Several of my workshops feature bird photography. You can learn more about my workshops online at www.wildlifeworkshops.com.
Blue-crowned Motmot - Costa RicaBlue-crowned Motmot - Costa Rica