Family Motmots (Momotidae)

Least Concern

Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus coeruliceps)


French: Motmot à tête bleue German: Blauscheitelmotmot Spanish: Momoto capiazul

Prionites cœruliceps


, 1836,

Tamaulipas, Mexico


Until recently was considered conspecific with M. momota (also M. aequatorialis), but proposed for species rank#R on basis of “forehead green” (in fact dull pale brown-green vs metallic turquoise) (2) and “crown blue” vs blue with broad black centre) (3), to which can be added no bright turquoise flush on chin and throat (1), paler, more uniformly green underparts with less rufous contrast on breast (ns[1]) and markedly larger black breast streaks (effect size for exposed length vs combined three races of M. lessonii 2.02, score 2).

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

NE Mexico (E Nuevo León and S Tamaulipas S to around Xalapa, C Veracruz).

Descriptive notes

38–43 cm. Mid-sized to large motmot with blue on crown, tail long and racquet-tipped; bill slightly decurved, both mandibles with coarse serrations along most of length of... read more


No known differences between this species and M. lessonii (which see).


No known differences from M. lessonii,

Food and feeding

Unstudied and apparently even anecdotal observations are lacking; however, this facet of the species’ ecology is unlikely to differ... read more


Presumably differs little from other, better-known, members of the M. momota complex, but even season seems to be unknown in NE... read more


None known.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Although tolerant of habitat modification, population nevertheless suspected to be undergoing some declines owing to ongoing habitat destruction and... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Blue-crowned Motmot (Momotus coeruliceps). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 February 2020).