- Order: Trogoniformes
- Family: Trogonidae
Male's upper plumage and chest is mostly a metallic green; central rectrices of long tail are green with black tips, outermost are black with narrow white tips and narrowly barred with white over most of their surface; wings are largely black with fine white vermiculations on greater coverts and white edgings on longer primaries. Cheeks, chin, and throat are black; chest color separated from bright red belly by conspicuous white band. Eyes are brown surrounded by bare orbital ring of the same color, so it is not as noticeable as in other trogon species. Bill is an bright and unmarked yellow.
Female's colors are more subdued: upper plumage brown, brightest on lower rump and upper tail-coverts. Two central rectrices are chestnut with black tips; red belly separated from brown chest by white band; face and throat are dusky or slate, with a conspicuous bare white crescent behind each brown eye. Bill is a paler yellow with a broad black stripe along the ridge of the maxilla.
Could be confused most easily with T. elegans, but collaris is smaller and tail is more strongly barred with black, female elegans has postocular stripe, and both sexes ofelegans have clearer eye-ring. Another potentially confused species, T. mexicanus, has three wide white bars on tail, a significant eye-ring, and lacks the distinctly barred wingpanel and white in primaries of collaris.
DNA studies suggest that nearest relative is T. personatus, and also very closely related to T. elegans, T. rufus, and T. mexicanus (Espinosa de los Monteros 1998; Hoyo et al. 1992). Also, the Orange-bellied Trogon, T. Aurantiiventris, is very likely a partially localized color morph, but is currently treated as a species (see Systematics section for more).
Usual call is 2-4 clear, mellow, down-slurred notes, cow cao or cow cao-cao. The first note is slightly lower in pitch, and occasionally several accelerating notes follow the first cow. Usually with several seconds of silence between each couplet, the call ends in a descending, chuckling trill wo ho ho ho ho (Slud 1964; Stiles and Skutch 1989; Garrigues and Dean 2007). When perturbed, will give a prolonged charr or snorting chur-r-r-r similar to an antbird while raising and lowering tail; first slightly spreading the tail fanwise and at once closing it very rapidly. The spreading is just enough for an observer behind the bird to note the white of the outer tail feathers, which flashes out momentarily, probably as a warning signal to the mate. As soon as the tail is closed it is also slowly elevated (Skutch 1956).
Detailed Description (appearance)
Medium-sized, with conspicuous white breast-band and red belly. Details below are collected primarily by Stiles and Skutch (1989) from subspecies puella in Costa Rica, which is the best studied.
Adult male: forehead, face, and throat black; rest of head, neck, chest, and upper-parts metallic green, including black-tipped central rectrices; wings black, the coverts narrowly barred and vermiculated with white; lateral rectrices black, narrowly barred with white, the terminal bar widest. Bare eye-rings are inconsipuous, same color as brown eyes; bill yellow; feet grayish to pale brown. The white tip of the three outer rectrices in males of the several subspecies in South America are three to six times wider than any of the white bars on the upper part of these feathers. In adult males of subspecies puella, this terminal white tip is only slightly broader than those adjacent above (Wetmore 1968).
Adult female: olive-brown where male is green; tail above dark rufous, tipped with black; wing-coverts olive-brown, finely vermiculated with black; interrupted white eye-rings around brown eyes; sides of breast more or less brownish; belly duller red; lateral rectrices gray, finely freckled with white; and with black subterminal bars, white tips; culmen black, rest of bill pale yellow.
Immatures: resemble respective adults but duller, rectrices narrower, more heavily and coarsely marked with white.
Juvenal head and body plumage of male is largely brown, though often several green-tipped feathers on breast or upper surface, along with a white spot in the center of the breast. All upper wing-coverts except on primaries brown, finely verimiculated with black and tipped with ochraceous buff. Secondaries have brown outer margins; median rectrices green or greenish with rufous tip. The young female has no trace of green anywhere in the plumage, and upper wing-coverts and tertials like the adult female feathers. The female tail has the median three pairs of rectrices of clear chestnut as in the adult females but without the black terminal bar; the outer three pairs of rectrices are somewhat like those of the adult females but with the subterminal bar less pronounced or sharply drawn, and the dark speckling more diffuse or reduced (Zimmer, 1948).
Young: born with no feathers or down; pink skin. Mostly rich brown, mixed with buff on breast, shading to deep buff on belly; crissum rufous; wing-coverts spotted with buff or white.
Male has no conspicuous eye-ring; female has interrupted (crescent) white eye-ring. Bills yellow, female with black culmen; feet grayish to pale brown.
25-29cm, 41-70g (Hoyo et al. 1992; Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Wetmore (1968) measured ten male and female specimens of T. collaris puella from Chiriquí, Panama and found the following averages: male wing 123.9mm, tail 133.4mm, culmen from base 17.7mm, tarsus 15.2mm; female wing 122.7mm, tail 134.8mm, culmen from base 17.5mm, tarsus 14.8mm.
Average dimensions for 12 eggs collected in Oaxaca, Mexico by Rowley (1984) in 1963, 1965, and 1967 were 29.92mm x 22.97mm.
Average gape of 17mm found by Wheelwright et al. (1984) for T. aurantiiventris; since this species is accepted as identical to T. collaris in all but belly color and range, the data has been included here.
No information available for adults. From his observations of a nest, Skutch (1956) reported that nestlings' pin feathers begin to sprout when they are 5 days old (they are born with pink, downless skin); plumage begins to expand at 9 days and by 11 days the nestlings are well covered with brown feathers.
The Collared Trogon has nine recognized subspecies; their distributions are listed below:
- puella Gould, 1845 - E Mexico S along both slopes of Central America to C Panama (Veraguas).
- extimus Griscom, 1929 - NE Panama (E Darién).
- heothinus Wetmore, 1967 - E Panama (end of Serranía del Darién).
- virginalis Cabanis & Heine, 1863 - W Colombia to W Ecuador and NW Peru.
- subtropicalis Zimmer, 1948 - subtropical zone of W and Central Colombia in Magdalena and Cauca Valleys.
- exoptatus Cabanis & Heine, 1863 - N Venezuela.
- collaris Vieillot, 1817 - E of Andes (except N Venezuela) S to N Bolivia and WC Brazil; Trinidad and Tobago; the Guianas.
- castaneus Spix, 1824 - Tropical E Colombia to NW Brazil, E Peru and N Bolivia; patchily in E Brazil.
- eytoni - E Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)*.
(Hoyo et al. 1992; The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v6.6)
Zimmer (1945) wrote a lengthy description of the differences between the subspecies he discovered (subtropicalis) and the other South American Collared Trogons. Wetmore (1968) provides detailed descriptions of puella, heothinus, and extinus. Hoyo et al. (1992) supply a condensed comparison of all above subspecies save eytoni.
* The Clements Checklist (v6.6) contains eytoni as a separate subspecies; on the other hand, Zimmer (1948) and Hoyo et al. (1992, likely citing Zimmer) believe eytoni to be the same as castaneus.
Johansson and Ericson (2004) and Moyle (2005) both found T. collaris to be close to T. mexicanus, the Mountain Trogon, but their phylogenies differ apart from this species. T. rufus, T. personatus, T. elegans, T. viridis, T. melanurus, T. violaceus, and T. curucui are all listed in varying degrees of closeness in their phylogentetic trees, but some of these species only appear in one of the trees and not the other; only the last three appear in both trees in addition to the aforementioned T. mexicanus. T. aurantiiventris was shown to be very closely related to T. collaris by Moyle (2005) -- see Further Research section for more.
Inman, Seth. 2012. Collared Trogon (Trogon collaris), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=283096