Western White-tailed Trogon (Trogon chionurus)

Western White-tailed Trogon

[order] TROGONIFORMES | [family] Trogonidae | [latin] Trogon chionurus | [authority] Sclater and Salvin, 1871 | [UK] Western White-tailed Trogon | [FR] Trogon de Sclater | [DE] Weissschwanz-Trogon | [ES] Trogon Coliblanco | [NL] Witstaarttrogon


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

The head and upper breast of the male are blue and the back is green, becoming bluer on the rump. The lower underparts are golden yellow. The undertail has a black center, broadly edged with white, and the wings are black, vermiculated with white. The female White-tailed Trogon has a brown-grey back, head and breast.

Listen to the sound of Western White-tailed Trogon

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/TROGONIFORMES/Trogonidae/sounds/Western White-tailed Trogon.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Robin Carter

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 25 cm size max.: 28 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Latin America : Panama to West Ecuador


It is found in the canopy and sub-canopy of forest and forest edges, humid lowland and foothill forest. Also in plantations and white sandy open forest.


Builds a nest in tree termite hills or holes in trees about 10-20 meters up. Clutch size is 2-3 eggs, no further data.

Feeding habits

Diet consists of berries, fruits and also insects like ants and anthropods eaten in the higher strata of trees by gleaning.

Video Western White-tailed Trogon


copyright: COLOMBIABirdingDiego


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.
It occurs from Panama south to southern Brazil, and on Trinidad.
Western White-tailed Trogon status Least Concern


Sedentary but not well documented.

Distribution map

Western White-tailed Trogon distribution range map

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