Family Motmots (Momotidae)

Least Concern

Broad-billed Motmot (Electron platyrhynchum)


French: Motmot à bec large German: Plattschnabelmotmot Spanish: Momoto picoancho

Momotus platyrhynchus


, 1829,

Brazil; error = western Ecuador


Probably closely related to E. carinatum and, despite plumage differences, might even be conspecific. Races mostly well marked; those E of Andes, lacking tail-racquets, combined as the “pyrrholaemum group”, considered by some to be a separate species. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. p. minus (E. J. O. Hartert, 1898) – E Honduras to E Panama.
  • E. p. platyrhynchum (Leadbeater, 1829) – Broad-billed Motmot – W of Andes from NW Colombia to SW Ecuador (El Oro).
  • E. p. colombianum Meyer de Schauensee, 1950 – lowlands N of Andes in N Colombia to E bank of R Magdalena and S to Boyacá.
  • E. p. pyrrholaemum (Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1902) – Plain-tailed Motmot – E of Andes from SC Colombia -(S Meta, Caquetá) S through E Ecuador and Peru to Bolivia (Cochabamba, Santa Cruz).
  • E. p. orienticola Oberholser, 1921 – upper Amazonian Brazil (W Amazonas, Acre).
  • E. p. chlorophrys Miranda-Ribeiro, 1931 – C Brazil S of Amazon (in E Amazonas, Pará, Mato Grosso, N Goiás).
  • Descriptive notes

    31–39 cm; 56–66 g. Relative smallish motmot, appearing very large-headed in field; tail moderately graduated; bill very broad, flattened, with pronounced culmen... read more


    Most frequently-heard vocalization, the song, usually given around dawn (but species is among most... read more


    Humid forest and older second-growth woodland; lowlands and foothills, to 1100 m.

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects and their larvae, also spiders, scorpions, centipedes, small frogs, lizards and snakes; takes many large, fiercely stinging... read more


    Lays in Feb–May in Costa Rica; in W Colombia, stub-tailed juvenile accompanied by adults in Mar. Following details all from Costa... read more


    None recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in some areas, but serious decline reported in W Ecuador, and other populations have undoubtedly decreased in areas suffering extensive... read more

    Recommended citation

    Snow, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Broad-billed Motmot (Electron platyrhynchum). 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 27 February 2020).