Confined to Tropical America with a rare fossil found in Swiss forest. 6 Genera with 9 species in which 5 Genus and 6 species are found in Costa Rica. In the Pacific Lowlands only two are located Turquoise & Lesson’s Motmots. The first one is more restricted in scrubby, semi-open secondary growth meanwhile Lessons (formerly Blue crowned) it prefers thicker, older forest but still both can be found in the same vegetative formation but not often. The remaining motmots are distributed between lowlands to mid elevations near volcanoes such as Tenorio and Rincon de la Vieja. Best places to find them are La Selva Biological Station with 3-4 species and the only place in Costa Rica to spot them all is Heliconias Lodge at Upala.

Turquoise browed mostly found on the dry forest edging of this section commonly sighted on the drive from Cañas towards Bijagua, the other 5 are within the lodge forest and grounds. As a friendly reminder Tody Motmot is the most elusive the smallest and with a NT condition (nearly threat).

Where are the best places to photograph them?

After years of traveling and capturing images here are our top recommendations by specie.

Turquoisebrowed Motmot

Turquoisebrowed Motmot

Turquoise Browed Motmot: nearly everywhere from Guanacaste Region to Jaco Beach or Carara National Park
Lessons Motmot easiest place to capture this species is Monteverde Cloud Forest early in the morning before the gate is open or at Santuario Ecologico nearly all day long.
Lesson Motmot

Lesson Motmot

Rufous Motmot

Rufous Motmot

Rufous Motmot (the largest of them all) La Selva Biological Station seems to be a very good place. Is a rather common bird near the Soccer Field before entering the trail.
Broad billed is also very common at La Selva but also Arenal Observatory Lodge.
BroadbilledMotmot

Broadbilled Motmot

Keelbilled motmot

Keelbilled motmot

Keel billed Motmot not always found but our experts suggest Arenal National Park the second entrance road, Heliconias Lodge, BIjagua.
Tody Motmot Rincon de la Vieja, Tenorio Volcano and Tapir Valley are about the only places we recommend you to venture.
Tody Motmot

Tody Motmot