Friday, July 15, 2011

Collared Trogon

Today a photo and video of a Collared Trogon from Montecristo National Park, El Salvador. I just returned from bird monitoring (banding) there, and will be out in the field and away from internet for another week, starting tomorrow morning. This post will be brief.

Collared Trogon is one of the four red-bellied trogons in the region. The male, shown here, is distinguished from males of the other species by its finely barred undertail, and by voice. (From Mountain Trogon also by its leading white edges on the primaries.)

Even the best field guides contain small mistakes or omissions. Take for example Howell & Webb's excellent Guide to Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. In the Collared Trogon species account, it describes the orbital ring of the male as "orange-red", and notes that the female "lacks bright orbital ring". Many trogon species do have bright orbital rings, and their color is often one of the field marks. In the Collared Trogon, however, there is considerable variation in this feature, and the individual shown above - with a dark orbital ring - is by no means unusual.

Literature cited:
Howell, S. N. G. and S. Webb. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, UK.

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