Merlin

Elegant Trogon

Silhouette TrogonsTrogons

Elegant Trogon

Trogon elegans
  • ORDER: Trogoniformes
  • FAMILY: Trogonidae
Basic Description

Many kinds of trogons live in tropical forests, but only one species regularly occurs in North America. Easily recognized by their metallic-green and rose-red colors, as well as their unusual stout-bodied, square-tailed profile, Elegant Trogons are a prized sighting for birders who visit southeastern Arizona. Early on spring mornings, their repetitive and resonating calls carry through the sycamore and oak forests that line canyon streams. Elegant Trogons are reliant upon woodpeckers to excavate holes in trees where they place their nests.

More ID Info
image of range map for Elegant TrogonRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Elegant Trogons are one of the most sought-after birds by bird watchers in the U.S., They breed regularly in only four mountain ranges in Arizona: the Atascosas, Chiricahuas, Huachucas, and Santa Ritas. They also are rarely reported in the southwestern mountains of New Mexico. Notwithstanding their restricted range, you should be able to find trogons if you look in the correct habitat (canyon forests of oak and sycamore) at the right time of year. Some trogons are present all year, but most arrive in April and depart in November. Listen for Elegant Trogons’ repetitive, resonant call notes to help narrow in on them. Males call most frequently in the early morning of April to May and again in late June to July. They are most easily seen when they erupt into flight after a prey item. At other times they tend to sit motionless, although typically in the upper understory or lower canopy, where they can still be fairly easy to spot if you look carefully.

Other Names
  • Trogón Elegante (Spanish)
  • Trogon élégant (French)
  • Cool Facts

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