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Motmots, with their distinctive racketed-tails, represent one of the most easily recognized tropical birds, yet little is known about the basic natural history of most species in the family Momotidae. We report basic breeding biology and longevity of Russet-crowned Motmots (Momotus mexicanus), a medium-sized Neotropical bird that ranges from northwest Mexico to central Guatemala. We monitored nest success of eight pairs from 1 May to 17 July 1998 in tropical deciduous forests in central Mexico. Motmots laid an average of 4.1 eggs and incubated for approximately 20 d. Four of eight nests fledged young. Of these four nests, average hatching success was 69% and average fledgling success was 56%. The mean duration of the nestling period at three nests was 33.7 d. Based on the recapture of one individual bird in April 2008, we provide a longevity estimate that Russet-crowned Motmots can survive at least 11 yr in the wild. These data on nesting success and longevity add to our limited knowledge of the natural history of this understudied species.




Wiley on behalf of the Association of Field Ornithologists, Inc.

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Journal of Field Ornithology

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