The national bird of Nicaragua is the Turquoise-browed Motmot. Nicaraguans, however, call it Guardabarranco, which translates to “ravine-guard.” Whatever its common name Eumomota superciliosa is an inspired choice as a national bird as it is found across most of Nicaragua, even in the capital, Managua, and it is beautiful and interesting, with its multiple hues and racquet-tipped tail. The Guardabarranco is described by Salvador Cardenal, one-half of a leading Nicaraguan musical duo named after the national bird, as “like a trogon, a beautiful bird of the rain forest. You can’t put it in a cage or it will die.”
As the national bird the Turquoise-browed Motmot is even on Nicaraguan currency, with its visage appearing on the 200-córdoba note. Now that is cash that a birder would not want to spend!
Nicaragua is not the only country to have the Turquoise-browed Motmot as its national bird. El Salvador also so honors Eumomota superciliosa but there the bird goes by the moniker Torogoz.
As far as national birds go a country can do far worse than a motmot, especially one as aesthetically pleasing as the Guardabarranco.
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