Friday, January 5, 2018

Turquoise-browed Motmot


On the afternoon of 8 July 2017, Erika and I abandoned our tour group. The morning’s hike had been too strenuous. We were about dragonflied-out. While the others went off in search of dragonflies and a shorebird-laden salt factory, Erika and I asked if we could stroll down to a small cattle-watering pond near the Ensenada Lodge. The manager said, “No problem. Just keep your eye out for the crocodile that lives in the pond. So far it has eaten six of our dogs.” Erika and I enjoyed a lovely walk, saw about a half-dozen dragonflies (including a new one for our list), and several interesting birds. And we kept our eyes out for dog-eating crocodiles.

One of the first birds we saw was a Turquoise-browned Motmot. I have already posted on this species. You may recall that motmots have oddly shaped tails, kind of like grand-father-like clock pendula. The birds even swings their tails back and forth. Motmots are relatively closely related to kingfishers. Fossil evidence suggests that motmots originated in the Old World, although now the family is restricted to the New World tropics (Snow 2018).

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