The Story Of The Lifeboost Bird

9 min read APR 06, 2023

Today I’d like you to journey with me to the rainforests of Nicaragua, where your favorite Lifeboost coffee is grown. And here, we’ll meet the Lifeboost bird in all its glory, the Turquoise Browed Motmot.

There are multiple reasons why we chose this amazing bird to represent Lifeboost, and we’d like to take some time to share just how special this beauty is with you now.

The Lifeboost Bird

Lifeboost coffee is sourced from high elevations within the rainforest mountains of Nicaragua. And, this country’s national bird is…you guessed it…the Turquoise Browed Motmot.

In Nicaragua, this bird is known as the Guardabarranco. And, for those living amidst the rainforests here, like our farmers, the Motmot is a common sight as these fowls aren’t known to dwell in secretive, dark regions, but out in the open, often perching in plain view.

Unlike the birds diligently working to build a nest in the wreath on my door, those whose songs I hear as they labor, the Motmot burrows into the moist earth to build long tunnels, nests that will hold up to 6 small white eggs from females.

Should you hike past a Motmot that’s perched along a wire, tree branch, or fence, you can hear its distinctive, rough, almost hoarse-sounding honk or kawukawuk.

If you’ve only seen the Motmot in pictures, the bird can appear quite small; however, coming upon the bird in person tells a different story as most adults can grow to be roughly a foot in length.
The Motmot’s beauty is a wonder to behold, its body painted in varying shades of green with bright orange tones accompanying the verdant hues throughout.

Extending from its semi-long, large, and powerful beak is a mask of black, the perfect backdrop for its stunningly bright, distinct, and bold turquoise brow feathers. Oftentimes these blue-green hues can be seen dotting the perimeter of the Motmot’s beak, lightly and sporadically appearing under this beauty’s chin as well.

The wingtips and tail feathers of the Turquoise Browed Motmot are silhouetted in black hues bordering the most distinctively bright, nearly oceanic, turquoise colored plumage.

Its tail feathers are most noticeable, acting as a signal to other Motmots.

Here, their brightly colored tips are attached to long barbs extending from the central tail feathers. And, these central and barb-extended tail feathers aid the bird in its ability to signal warnings of nearby predators.

The males of this species are also said to use their somewhat longer tail feathers, complete with their signature black and turquoise markings, to attract female mates.

While perched, the signaling sway of the Motmot’s extended tail feathers is said to look like the swing of an antique clock pendulum.

What a glorious sight to behold while hiking through the lush, verdant green rainforests: the bright turquoise and black tail swaying beneath the long barbs extending from oceanic blues melting upwards into greens which mirror nearby rainforest plant life, oranges which mimic a bold sunset, extending further to the top of the Motmot’s head where it’s distinguishable bright turquoise brow brings your eye to its long black beak, perfectly designed for nourishing the bird with small insects and reptiles.

But, there’s more to the Motmot than its stunning beauty…

The Story Of The Motmot

The Turquoise Browed Motmot was a fitting choice to represent Lifeboost as it is the national bird of the country where our coffee is grown. And, the beauty of the bird, as we just discussed, perfectly mirrors the vastly enchanting views of this region.

But, the Motmot is also said to represent “freedom, liberty, and the beauty of nature.”

And, if you’ve been with us for any time at all as a Lifeboost customer, you likely know of how much we care about how our coffee is grown, how we care for our bodies (with clean, healthy coffee for instance), and how we view our responsibility to care for our planet.

This care and attention to detail not only honors and respects the beauty of nature, but these practices grant our farmers the freedom and liberty to pursue a better quality of life.

Using sustainable farming practices can especially grant freedom for generations to come, preserving our planet and promoting a way of life that allows us to live in harmony with nature, as opposed to taking it for granted and essentially robbing from future years, lands, and resources.

We believe the story, or legend, of the Turquoise Browed Motmot resonates thoroughly with our mission, echoing these responsibilities and practices we deem paramount.

You see, Mayan cultures in the region where the Motmot dwells say this bird was once given a vitally important task, and its features today serve as a reminder to us all:

“Most beautiful Motmot, each morning, you will sound forth, projecting your unique and powerful kawukawuk. You must not neglect this duty, as your call is needed to awaken each and every forest bird in these early morning hours.”

The Motmot pondered these instructions, contemplating its unique, given talent, then honorably projecting its distinctive kawukawuk at the dawn of each new day.

For many mornings, he did the same, proudly initiating the rising of the other birds, its hoarse honk heard routinely breaking the last moments of the night’s stillness.

But, one day, the bird neglected its duties, forgetting the far-reaching impact and purpose of his needed contribution.

And, on this day, at sunrise, due to its apathetic neglect, the bird was said to have been stripped of all of its magnificent tail feathers, save two, lingering at the bottom of what were now bare, long extending barbs.

The Motmot, now remembering once again through this consequence the grave importance of his responsibility, viewed his remaining tail feathers in thankful honor, having been given a faithful reminder to never again neglect his duties.

These two tail feathers still extend below the barbs of the Turquoise Browed Motmot to this day.

And, when perched, as the turquoise and black duo sway back and forth in a pendulum-like fashion, we are reminded of two things:

  • We, too, are all given responsibilities, namely to use our talents and resources to the betterment of those around us.
  • And, time is fleeting. As the pendulum swings, we must use our days wisely, leaving behind a better world for those that come behind us.

The Importance Of The Lifeboost Bird

Here at Lifeboost, we do not take our responsibilities lightly.

Learning from the Motmot’s lesson, here are just a few practical ways we seek to live out our passions:

1) As a coffee company, we know of the damage that is regularly done to rainforest regions through deforestation combined with the use of chemicals in the growing practices of large coffee companies.

These practices are ravaging the land, air, and waters within such regions, critical habitats for wildlife, such as the Turquoise Browed Motmot. Such carelessness also contributes to climate change, global warming, and multiple types of pollution.

This is why we never use chemicals in any of our growing, washing, or processing practices.

Lifeboost coffee is always grown sustainably, amongst the natural flora and fauna of the region, not only enhancing the biodiversity of the region, but producing a more flavorful, nutrient dense coffee cherry.
2) While our commitment to organic and sustainable growing processes produces clean, healthy coffee, and keeps the planet and our coffee farmers safe, we know this is only a small part of the equation in protecting these critical environments.

This is why we have also chosen to support the Rainforest Trust, an organization working to preserve and protect critical habitats all across the globe.

In fact, the area where our coffee is grown, the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, is one such area protected by the efforts of the Rainforest Trust.

Every three seconds, an acre of rainforest is lost to deforestation. And to date, the Trust has protected 45 million acres of tropical rainforest land, including 2,344 critically endangered species that call this land home.
3) In the regions of Central America where Lifeboost coffee is grown, poverty has been a contributing factor in keeping schools in the area from thriving. This not only affects the present communities but future generations as well.

This is why we partner with Project Alianza, an organization building schools within the communities where our coffee farmers live.

We proudly support Project Alianza as they aren’t simply providing safe buildings with stocked classrooms, and loving, knowledgeable teachers where students can come to learn. This wonderful organization's efforts actually reach much farther, as they’re truly providing children with an opportunity for a thriving future, one that breaks the cyclic chains of poverty and opens the doors of prosperity through education.

And, these points listed above only cover some of the ways we live out the story of the Turquoise Browed Motmot.

Lifeboost’s 4 pillars (clean, cause, connection, and kindness) serve to describe the legend of the Motmot in action, showing how our passions and talents are needed to potentially, even profoundly, impact our own life, the lives of those around us, our company, our community, and our world.
Clean - We value health: ours and yours! So, this dictates how we farm, process, test, roast, and enjoy our coffee. Our commitment and goal is to bring you the cleanest, healthiest coffee on the planet.

Cause - We believe in supporting those causes we believe in. This is why we support our farmers, their families, and communities. This is also why use sustainable farming methods and seek to support and protect the wildlife in the regions where our coffee is grown.

For those causes we believe in closer to home, we enjoy donating coffee to our local first responders and community servants.

Connection - We believe life is about connection. As we use our talents and resources to make this world a better place, we’ve often found coffee to be a source which provides the opportunity for connection. Most times, the greatest efforts in this world come together to exact healthy change when we connect with others.

Kindness - This pillar often serves as the transportation or the medium through which change can be enacted.

Our talents, time, and resources, when used responsibly, can certainly allow us to make this world a better place. But, kindness, treating people with love, respect, and honor, can be the most effective means of practically putting these efforts to use.

What about you? How can you live out the story of the Lifeboost bird in your own life?

What are some ways you can make a difference with your time, talents, and resources for your family, friends, and loved ones, in your school, workplace, and community, for our planet and its future?

Each time you see the image of this bird on your bag of Lifeboost coffee, on our website, on your Lifeboost mug or tumbler, etc. I’d like to challenge you to ponder the beauty and story of the Turquoise Browed Motmot, then go out and live your life in light of the beauty that exists within and around you.


Check out Lifeboost Coffee Embolden Dark Roast.

References:
https://www.roughguides.com/nicaragua/when-to-go/
https://travelexperta.com/wildlife-guatemala-10-things-you-should-know-about-turquoise-browed-motmot/
https://birdsoftheworld.org/bow/species/tubmot1/cur/introduction
http://www.gaianicaragua.org/guardabarranco.html#
https://www.anywhere.com/flora-fauna/bird/turquoise-browed-motmot
https://a-z-animals.com/blog/turquoise-browed-motmot-the-national-bird-of-el-salvador/#
https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2021/08/the-indigenous-maya-and-the-avian-world-a-profound-symbiotic-connection/
https://www.rainforesttrust.org/
https://www.projectalianza.org/

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Diane Green

Thanks so much for this profound article on your purpose and commitment PLUS the Legend of the Turquoise Browed MOTMOT ‼️. This DOES encourage ME to make THE MOST of AbbaFather’s PRESENCE and the use of His gifts through ME🤩

Tana leidigh

Beautiful bird
thank you for taking such care of nature
glad to support a company with values!