Keelbilled motmot

Electron carinatum TAXONOMY

Prionites carinatus Bernard Du Bus de Gisignies, 1847, Guatemala. Monotypic.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Motmot à bec caréné; German: Kielschnabelmotmot; Spanish: Momoto Carenado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

2.3 oz (65 g); 12-15 in (30-38 cm). Broad and flattened bill, with a pronounced ridge. Rufous forehead and black mask,

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Electron carinatum Resident

with light turquoise streak above mask. Upperparts green, un-derparts greenish with light turquoise chin and black spot on chest.

DISTRIBUTION

Patchily distributed from western Belize to northern Costa Rica.

HABITAT

Tropical lowland and some montane rainforest; may range up to 5,100 ft (1,550 m).

BEHAVIOR

Appear solitary but seem to maintain pair bonds during and between years. They are not very active and often go undetected. The tail often pendulates, sometimes jerkily. Inactive at night, active during twilight at dawn and dusk. Calling most active at early morning light.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Prey is apparently taken on the wing during sallying. Little information on diet is available.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Males maintain territories through much vocal activity between January and March. Excavated nests are in steep banks along seasonal streams.

CONSERVATION STATUS

The keel-billed motmot is considered Vulnerable, with habitat fragmentation due to agrarian conversion and banana plantations as principal threats. Geographic range is estimated at 14,000 mi2 (36,000 km2). Its numbers are estimated at less than 10,000, with populations declining.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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