Ecuadorian Trogon Trogon mesurus

  • Order: Trogoniformes
  • Family: Trogonidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg and Harold F. Greeney


Distinguishing Characteristics

Trogons are brightly colored birds with long, strongly graduated tails, small feet, and short, thick bills. Ecuadorian Trogon is a large Trogon. The male has bright iridescent green upperparts and upper breast, a white band across the breast, and bright red lower breast and belly. On the female, the iridescent green is replaced by gray. In both sexes, the under surface of the tail is entirely black, the bill is yellow, and the iris is white.

Similar Species

Ecuadorian Trogon overlaps locally in northwestern Ecuador with Blue-tailed Trogon (Trogon comptus), both sexes of which are very similar in appearance to Ecuadorian. Blue-tailed Trogon lacks the white breast band of Ecuadorian Trogon; male Blue-tailed Trogon also lacks the red orbital ring of Ecuadorian Trogon, and is a purer shade of green.

Ecuadorian Trogon also is similar to Slaty-tailed (Trogon massena) and Black-tailed (Trogon melanurus) trogons, although it is not sympatric with either species. Ecuadorian Trogon differs from both species by its white iris, and further differs from Slaty-tailed Trogon by its yellow (not red) bill.

Detailed Description

Adult male: Face and throat black. Crown, nape, upperparts, and upper breast green; green of upper breast bordered below by a white band across breast. Wing coverts and outer outer webs of secondaries minutely vermiculated with black and grayish white. Primaries and primary coverts dull black. Lower breast, belly, and undertail coverts deep red. Under surface of rectrices slaty.

Adult female: Upperparts and throat light slate gray. Sides of head blackish slate. Wing coverts blackish slate, indistinctly mottled with grayish white. Primaries, primary coverts, and rectrices black. Upper breast and sides pale slate gray, upper breast usually bordered below by white band on breast. Lower breast and belly bright red.

Bare Parts

Iris: white; orbital ring of male bright red

Bill: yellow or maxilla yellow, mandible yellow green (male); maxilla black, with some yellow at base below the nostril, mandible dull yellow green

Tarsi and toes: dusky brown


Total length: 30.5-32 cm (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b)

Linear measurements (from Chapman 1923):

wing length, male, mean 152.3 mm (range 149-157 mm, n = 7)

tail length, male, mean 156.3 mm (range 153-160 mm, n = 7)

Mass: 1 male 96 g, 1 female 100 g (data from specimens in the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science)

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. and H. F. Greeney (2012). Ecuadorian Trogon (Trogon mesurus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.