Elegant Trogon (Trogon elegans)


The Elegant Trogon or the Trogon elegans is very similar to the rarer Eared Trogon, the difference being the barred undersurface of the tail and the white breast band. This stunning bird is related to the Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), the bird of the Maya emperor-gods. The Trogon has a small habitat range, which barely reaches the United States and so is a birder‘s treasure when they find it. Trogons are insectivorous but they often include small fruits in their diet. Their legs are weak and their bills broad, a clear indication of their diet and arboreal habits. They are fast flyers but don’t enjoy long distances hence the small habitat that they are confined to.

The Trogon is 10 inches or 28 to 30 cm long and has a short, stout hooked yellow bill, weighing 65-67 grams. It has an upright posture and the tail is long and square-cut at the tip. The male is beautiful and has a lovely dark, glossy, emerald green upper body as well as the head and upper breast. The breast also has a white band with the belly and tail coverts being crimson in color with a black band. The underpart of the tail is gray with white bars going across it, the head is black with a pale color around the eye.

The female is duller in color and is plain brown where the male is green, pink and crimson, with a white breast and light coffee-colored bands across the chest. The Trogon will nest 2 to 6 meters high in a shallow cavity like an old woodpeckers hole and has 2 to 3 eggs in every clutch.

The Elegant Trogon is restricted to the southeastern part of Arizona in the United States to northwestern Costa Rica, and at times in the southeastern and western part of Texas. The Elegant Trogon is considered a near passerine bird or a higher land-bird assemblage, a name given to those believed to be related to the true passerines because of their ecological similarities. The Trogon’s normal call is a croaking “co-ah co-ah co-ah” sound and sometimes it includes a chattering noise.