Birds of this genus can even eat poison dart frogs

These motmots are native to the tropical regions of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil, where they inhabit moist lowland forests and hilly areas.

Baryphthengus motmots are notable for their large size compared to other motmot species. They have a robust build and a distinct tail with racket-like tips, a characteristic feature of the motmot family. Their plumage is a kaleidoscope of colors, with a unique contrast between the rufous coloration of their head and underparts and the iridescent green-blue hue of their back, wings, and tail. This striking coloration not only serves aesthetic purposes but also helps with camouflage among the dappled light of the forest understorey.

These birds prefer the dense cover provided by moist lowland and montane forests, which offer abundant food resources and protection from predators. Their habitat selection is vital for their survival and breeding, as these areas provide the dense foliage needed for nesting and the variety of food sources that sustain them throughout the year.

Baryphthengus motmots have a diverse diet that includes fruits, insects, and small vertebrates. They are known to follow swarms of army ants to catch prey flushed out by the ants’ activity, a behavior observed in various other bird species as well. Their foraging strategy is one of patience and energy conservation; they often perch motionlessly on a branch, watching for food items, before launching a sudden attack.

As low-energy specialists, Baryphthengus motmots spend significant periods resting and conserving energy, a strategy that is particularly effective in the hot and humid environments where they live. Their sudden forays from perches to catch insects or snatch fruits are rapid and precise, demonstrating their adeptness as hunters.