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White-tailed Trogon Picture

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The White-tailed Trogon, Trogon viridis, is a near passerine bird in the trogon family. It occurs from Panama south to southern Brazil, and on Trinidad. It is sometimes split into two species, the Amazonian White-tailed Trogon, Trogon viridis, found throughout most of its range, and the Western White-tailed Trogon, Trogon chionurus, found in western Ecuador, western Colombia and Panama.

This relatively large species is about 29 cm long and weighs 82 g. Trogons have distinctive male and female plumage, with soft, often colourful, feathers. The head and upper breast of the male are dark blue (appears blackish in poor light), and the back is green, becoming bluer on the rump. The lower underparts are orange yellow. The wings are black, vermiculated with white. In the Amazonian White-tailed Trogon the undertail has a black centre, broadly edged with white, but in the Western White-tailed Trogon the undertail is almost entirely white. The complete eye-ring is pale bluish.

The female White-tailed Trogon resembles the male, but has a grey back, head and breast, and barring to the tail. This barring is restricted to the inner webs of the tail feathers (and can often be difficult to see) in the Western White-tailed Trogon, while it is far more conspicious in the Amazonian White-tailed Trogon, where it primarily is on the outer webs.

This species resembles the Violaceous Trogon, but the latter is smaller and has an complete yellow (male) or incomplete white (female) eye-ring. The male Violaceous Trogon also has a barred undertail unlike the male White-tailed Trogon.

The song of the White-tailed Trogon consists of about 15-20 cow notes that are delivered slower in the Amazonian White-tailed Trogon than in the Western White-tailed Trogon. Among others, calls include caaop, caaop, caaop, ca, ca, ca notes.

White-tailed Trogons feed on insects and small fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. They typically perch upright and motionless.

It is a resident of moist tropical forests, where it nests in a termite nest or a hole in a rotten tree. The nest is usually if not always built by the female which excavates an upward-sloping tunnel ending in a breeding chamber. The nesting season is apparently mainly during the summer months (June-August). The clutch is typically two or three white eggs. These are incubated for 16-17 days, with a further two weeks to fledging.


male Amazonian White-tailed Trogon


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