Black-throated Trogon (Trogon rufus)

Black-throated Trogon

[order] TROGONIFORMES | [family] Trogonidae | [latin] Trogon rufus | [authority] Gmelin, 1788 | [UK] Black-throated Trogon | [FR] Trogon aurore | [DE] Schwarzkehl-Trogon | [ES] Trogon Amarillo | [NL] Zwartkeeltrogon


Monotypic species


The Neotropical Trogoninae, containing four genera, Trogon, Priotelus, Pharomachrus and Eupilotis. The two Caribbean species of Priotelus were formerly different ones (Temnotrogon on Hispaniola), and are extremely ancient. The two quetzal genera, Pharomachrus and Eupilotis are possibly derived from the final and most numerous genus of trogons in the Neotropics, Trogon. A 2008 study of the genetics of Trogon suggested the genus originated in Central America and radiated into South America after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama (as part of the Great American Interchange), thus making trogons relatively recent arrivals in South America. Within the genus Trogon, a division of species that coincides with female plumage type is well supported. Females with brown breasts and heads characterize one clade (including T. rufus), whereas females in the other clade (including T. comptus) have gray breasts and heads. Females of T. rufus and T. mexicanus both have brown heads. Male plumage does not appear to be informative at this level; species with red or yellow underparts are interspersed in both clades. They have large eyes, stout hooked bills, short wings, and long, squared-off, strongly graduated tails; black and white tail-feather markings form distinctive patterns on the underside. Males have richly colored metallic plumage, metallic on the upperparts.[1] Although many have brightly coloured bare eye-rings, they lack the colorful patches of bare facial skin in their African counterparts, Apaloderma.[2] Females and young are duller and sometimes hard to identify in the field

Physical charateristics

Mid-sized bird with yellow belly and bill, pale bluish eye-ring, and black and white barred tail; male with green head, chest, and back, and black throat; female with brownish head, chest, and back.

Listen to the sound of Black-throated Trogon

[audio: Trogon.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 23 cm size max.: 25 cm
incubation min.: 18 days incubation max.: 19 days
fledging min.: 14 days fledging max.: 19 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Latin America : Honduras to Ecuador, Amazonia, Southeast


Low and some middle elevation wet forests, Caribbean and southern Pacific slopes; found in forest interior and more open areas such as forest edge, near rivers and streams, and around tree plantations.


It nests 1-6 m high in an unlined shallow cavity built in dead wood stubs. Also noted nest in old termite hills. Clutch size is 2 eggs incubated for 18-19 days. Young fledge after 14-15 days, male can breed after 2 years.

Feeding habits

Black-throated Trogons feed on insects, often taken in flight, and fruit. Seems to be less dependent on fruit than other species of the genus. Will follow troops of monkeys, ant swarms mixed-species flocks. 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.

Video Black-throated Trogon


copyright: D. Jackson


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Resident on the Caribbean slope of Honduras and Nicaragua, on both slopes of Costa Rica and Panama. In South America from Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas south, west of the Andes to western Ecuador and east of the Andes to central Peru, Amazonian and southeastern Brazil, extreme northeastern Argentina, and eastern Paraguay.
Black-throated Trogon status Least Concern


Sedentary,although strays have been recorded in Central America.

Distribution map

Black-throated Trogon distribution range map

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