Masked Trogon (Trogon personatus)

Masked Trogon

[order] TROGONIFORMES | [family] Trogonidae | [latin] Trogon personatus | [authority] Gould, 1842 | [UK] Masked Trogon | [FR] Trogon masque | [DE] Maskentrogon | [ES] Trogon Enmascarado | [NL] Maskertrogon


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

Males are bronze to green on the head, chest, and upperparts, with red belly separated from the chest by a white band, black tail with broad white tips to the graduated rectrices, orange to red eye ring, and yellow bill; females are brownish above with a white eyering.

Listen to the sound of Masked Trogon

[audio: Trogon.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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South America : Colombia to Peru, Southcentral Venezuela. It is present along the Andes from Venezuela south to Bolivia, and also in the disjunct tepuis of Venezuela, Guyana, and northern Brazil.


It is fairly common in humid highland forests in South America


The Masked Trogon excavates a cavity nest in the soft wood of a rotting vertical tree trunk not too high (less than 10 meter) above ground. Clutch size is 2 eggs.

Feeding habits

The Masked Trogon feeds on both fruits and insects. The latter always being caught in flight. Known to join mixed species flocks.

Video Masked Trogon


copyright: Stefan Behrens


This species has a very 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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not 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.
There are eight subspecies of Masked Trogon described which vary in plumage and bare parts coloration
Masked Trogon status Least Concern


Sedentary, but may make seasonal movements in the hill regions.

Distribution map

Masked Trogon distribution range map

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