Whiteheads Trogon (Harpactes whiteheadi)

Whiteheads Trogon

[order] TROGONIFORMES | [family] Trogonidae | [latin] Harpactes whiteheadi | [authority] Sharpe, 1888 | [UK] Whiteheads Trogon | [FR] Couroucou de Whitehead | [DE] Graubrust-Trogon | [ES] Trogon de Borneo | [NL] Whiteheads Trogon


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Harpactes whiteheadi OR Borneo


The trogons are split into three subfamilies, each reflecting one of these splits, Aplodermatinae is the African subfamily and contains a single genus, Apaloderma; Harpactinae is the Asian subfamily and contains two genera, Harpactes and Apalharpactes. Apalharpactes, consisting of two species in the Java and Sumatra, has only recently been accepted as a separate genus from Harpactes. Harpactes is a genus of birds found in forests in South and Southeast Asia, extending into southernmost China. They are strongly sexually dimorphic, with females generally being duller than males. The two members of the genus Apalharpactes are sometimes included in Harpactes.

Physical charateristics

Male has red head, blue bill and eye ring. Black throat, grey breast and red belly. Pale brown upperparts, undertail mostly white. Female with red in male replaced by cinnamon. Pale brown bars on wings.

Listen to the sound of Whiteheads Trogon

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/TROGONIFORMES/Trogonidae/sounds/Whiteheads Trogon.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 29 cm size max.: 31 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Oriental Region : Borneo. Harpactes whiteheadi is restricted to Bornean mountains, including Mt Kinabalu, Sabah, and Mt Dulit, Sarawak, Malaysia, and Gunung Lunjut, Kalimantan, Indonesia. It is apparently uncommon everywhere and reputedly declining on Kinabalu, for unknown reasons.


This species is restricted to primary hill and montane forest at 900-1500 m. It frequents dark, wet and mossy areas in higher branches of the understorey.


Seems to use deserted Trogon nests about 2 meters up in a dead stump or cavity. No further details.

Feeding habits

Large insects but also ants and beetles. Stones were found in the stomach druing a study.

Video Whiteheads Trogon


copyright: Keith Blomerley


This species is listed as Near Threatened as it has a moderately small, patchy range, within which it is generally scarce and possibly declining.
Habitat loss due to logging and agricultural conversion in its lower elevation range may be a threat, but reasons for declines at higher elevations are unknown
Whiteheads Trogon status Near Threatened


Presumed sedentary, but not well documented

Distribution map

Whiteheads Trogon distribution range map

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