The Turquoise-Browed Motmot, Toh, or Pájaro Reloj
by Eleanor Burke July 2011
On the path into the ruins of Chichén Itzá, a number of beautiful green, blue, and russet birds with turquoise “brows” perched on branches of the scrubby peninsular trees. A local resident said it was just a common pájaro reloj, named for the shape and motion of its tail, like the pendulum of a grandfather clock. But smitten by its beauty, I felt there was nothing ‘common’ about it. The Eumomota superciliosa, or Turquoise-Browed Motmot, an order relative of the Kingfisher, inhabits a small portion of the Caribbean coast from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico southward to Costa Rica. And, despite my reluctance to believe it, the bird is indeed “common,” or quite abundant in the region.
Turquoise-browed Motmot image from Wikipedia © Leonardo C. Fleck (firstname.lastname@example.org) 2007-04-16 (original upload date)