Family Motmots (Momotidae)

Least Concern

Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)


French: Motmot à sourcils bleus German: Brauenmotmot Spanish: Momoto cejiazul

Pyronites superciliosus


, 1837,

Campeche, Mexico


Highly distinctive, with no very close relatives. Geographical variation within disjunct range is probably complex, but general pattern of darkest forms in more humid areas, tawnier forms coastal, greener ones isolated in interior, and those in far S distinctly pale; further study required. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. s. superciliosa (Sandbach, 1837) – SE Mexico (from Campeche across N half of Yucatán Peninsula).
  • E. s. bipartita Ridgway, 1912 – Pacific slope of S Mexico (Oaxaca, Chiapas) and Guatemala.
  • E. s. vanrossemi Griscom, 1929 – interior Guatemala.
  • E. s. sylvestris Carriker & Meyer de Schauensee, 1935 – Caribbean lowlands of Guatemala.
  • E. s. euroaustris Griscom, 1929 – Caribbean lowlands of N Honduras.
  • E. s. apiaster (Lesson, 1842) – El Salvador, W & S Honduras and NW Nicaragua.
  • E. s. australis Bangs, 1906 – Pacific lowlands of SW Nicaragua and NW Costa Rica.
  • Descriptive notes

    33–38 cm; 44–74 g, means 67·6 g (male) and 66 g (female). Tail most extremely graduated of family, central rectrices about twice as long as next pair, with... read more


    Like other motmots, gives a hollow, nasal, ringing "wohh" or "owhh", given at... read more


    Deciduous woodland and woodland edge, evergreen gallery forest, low scrubby thickets, and semi-open... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, spiders, millipedes, small molluscs, earthworms, and small lizards and snakes; also fruit. Coleoptera, Orthoptera and Hymenoptera... read more


    Lays second week May to mid-Jul (peak first half Jun) in Mexico; Apr–May in Guatemala and Honduras; late Mar to mid-Apr in NW Costa... read more


    Returns to Yucatán breeding colonies in late Feb or Mar, a few weeks before start of nesting... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. One of the most abundant motmots, common to fairly common throughout range. Well adapted to secondary vegetation and semi-open country in areas much... read more

    Recommended citation

    Snow, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa). 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 25 February 2020).