Family Motmots (Momotidae)

Least Concern

Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii)


French: Motmot roux German: Zimtbrustmotmot Spanish: Momoto yeruvá occidental

Prionites martii


, 1824,

Pará, Brazil


Closely related to B. ruficapillus; structurally similar and has often been regarded as conspecific, but differences in both voice and plumage now generally considered sufficient to warrant treatment as separate species. Populations of Nicaragua and Costa Rica formerly separated as race costaricensis on grounds of larger size and fairly minor differences in coloration, but subsequently found to overlap in both aspects with birds from Panama and Colombia, now considered inseparable from semirufus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. m. semirufus (P. L. Sclater, 1853) – E Honduras, E Nicaragua, Caribbean slopes of Costa Rica and Panama, W & NC Colombia (to E bank of R Magdalena in Boyacá) and W Ecuador (to El Oro).
  • B. m. martii (Spix, 1824) – Amazonian Basin in SE Colombia, E Ecuador and NW Brazil (S of Amazon, E to R Tapajós) S to E Peru and N Bolivia.
  • Descriptive notes

    42–47 cm; male 146–160 g (martii), 185–193 g (semirufus); female 153–173 g (martii), 170–208 g (semirufus).... read more


    Song is typical of many motmots, a rapid, monotonous "boop-oop", which is generally very... read more


    Humid forest, older second-growth woodland, occasionally semi-open areas with tall trees; generally... read more

    Food and feeding

    Very versatile feeder: consumes great variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates, also many fruits. Invertebrates include insects and... read more


    Lays in Mar–Jun in Costa Rica; in Panama, young being fed in late Jun and occupied nests in Feb–Sept. Nest a long winding... read more


    None recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in most of range; common in some areas, e.g. Costa Rica. Tolerance of secondary woodland and even semi-open habitats provides it with... read more

    Recommended citation

    Snow, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii). 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 26 February 2020).