Both the male and female blue-crowned motmot have green and blue plumage with a chestnut chest. They have a large head with a blue crown, black eye mask around red eyes, and a short serrated beak. Their most distinguishing features are their long central tail feathers that feature bare sections near the tips. These oddly shaped feathers are often twitched back and forth like the pendulum of a clock -- a peculiar behavior that is typical of motmots. Their call is a repeated “mot-mot” sound which is the source of their common name. Motmots build elaborate underground nests that they dig during the rainy season and use several months later. One of the hypothesized reasons for this time gap is to hide the evidence of their nest when they actually lay their eggs.