I am sure you are all wondering where are the 'beautiful' colored tropical birds after the first Panama bulletin. Well here are the motmots. I put one on the blog as the header photo.
Motmots are a small new world family of colorful birds. There are only 14 species and they occur from Mexico to northen South America and Trinidad. Most have peculiar racket tails. They often sit motionless for long periods and may wag their tails from side to side like a pendulum. We saw 4 species on this trip. The sexes are similar in all species.
The Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii) at 18" is the largest of the 4. It has a green back, blue wing edges, and rufous head and underparts. Also, it has a black mask and black breast spot. The racket tail on the long central tail feathers is visible.
The Blue-diademed Motmot (Momotus lessonii) is similar, but differs mainly by voice. Its range is Mexico to central Panama.
The Red-crowned Woodpecker (Melanerpes rubricapillus) is almost identical to our Red-bellied Woodpecker in eastern USA, but the ranges don't overlap and the birds are non-migratory, It is very common, and we saw it every day of the trip. Here is a male on a feeder eating banana.
|Red-crowned Woodpecker - male|
|Black-cheeked Woodpecker - male|
The Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) is a large (12.5") woodpecker of the same genus and very similar to the familiar Pileated Woodpecker of North America. Notice that the white line through the head and neck is narrower in this bird than the Pileated. The crest appears much bushier as well.
|Lineated Woodpecker - male|
|Crimson-crested Woodpecker - male|
|Crimson-crested Woodpecker - female|
Lastly is the beautiful 8" Cinnamon Woodpecker (Celeus loricatus). The sexes are similar except the male has red on the chin.
|Cinnamon Woodpecker - male|
|Cinnamon Woodpecker - female|
David McDonald firstname.lastname@example.org
photos copyright 2014 David McDonald
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