August 5, 2019 Birds from Colombia

The Andean Motmot occurs in humid montane forests of the Andes mountains of South America, from Colombia all the way to Bolivia.

Momotus aequatorialis| Andean Motmot, © Victoria Restrepo

In Colombia, it lives in the mountains of up to 3100 m.a.s.l. in the central, western, and eastern mountain ranges. It is found in humid mountain forests and various habitats, such as primary and secondary forests, as well as cultivated areas and gardens.

Momotus aequatorialis|, Andean Motmot, © Victoria Restrepo

It feeds on lizards, frogs, mice, and large insects such as beetles and caterpillars. It captures its prey on the fly and sometimes also on the ground. He perches silently alone or in pairs in medium or low-level vegetation, and in moments of alarm, he stands still and moves its tail like a pendulum. It nests in burrows that dig in ravines.

I recently received a comment from Raul Antonio Valbuena, which perfectly illustrates the behavior of this beautiful bird:

“This bird is prehistoric. I can hear it, and it sounds like a hammer in the ravines splitting snails. It is something great. It is not scared of snakes; it fights with them. They make their nests deep in the ground for their chicks.”

Momotus aequatorialis|, Andean Motmot, © Victoria Restrepo

This is how I looked among my images. I made a sketch and started to paint the momotus:

And this is the finished work.

Momotus aequatorialis|, Andean Motmot, Watercolor © Victoria Restrepo

Victoria Restrepo ©


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