White-tailed Trogon Trogon chionurus

  • Order: Trogoniformes
  • Family: Trogonidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Shannon DuBois

One of the most common and tamest trogons, the White-tailed Trogon, Trogon chionurus, is found from western Panama east through the Canal Zone to western Colombia and western Ecuador. Its range is west of the Andes, whereas the Green-backed Trogon, Trogon viridis, is found east of the Andes. Until recently, these two separate species were considered one. Mitochondrial gene analysis and documented differences in voice and plumage served as evidence in the acceptance of two separate species.

Trogon chionurus males are black glossed with rich blue on the head, neck, and upper chest. They have a pale blue orbital ring and a bluish white bill. The belly is bright yellow and the upper back and rump are an iridescent violet-blue color. The wingpanel is black and white, which appears gray from a distance. The tail is bluish green, abruptly tipped with black. There is extensive white on the undertail. Females are duller in color than males as the green and blue tones found in males are replaced by gray. Having a rather broad ecological range, White-tailed Trogons range from a few hundred m up to 1,000 m in moist tropical and subtropical forests, forest edges, secondary forests, and gallery forests. They feed on fruits, berries, and various insects. Their song is a series of about 16 brisk kyoh or cow notes that become louder near the end. Low purring sounds or individual chucks may also be uttered.


© Linda Macaulay

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

DuBois, S. (2011). White-tailed Trogon (Trogon chionurus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whttro1.01