How Big Is An Elegant Trogon?

Male Elegant Trogon (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Male Elegant Trogon (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Today I’m at the Southwest Wings Festival hoping to see the holy grail of Arizona birding: an elegant trogon (Trogon elegans).

In my imagination these birds are huge — the size of crows — but they’re really only as big as American robins.  Their bulky necks, long tails and upright posture make them look big in photographs. The male’s red breast and deep voice add to the illusion.

Elegant trogons range from southeastern Arizona through Mexico to Costa Rica where they live in deciduous forests and nest in natural cavities in sycamores or unused woodpecker holes.  They leave Arizona for the winter(*) but are still present in July … which is why I’m here.

If I’m lucky enough to see this Life Bird I’ll let you know if he “shrank” to his normal size.  😉


(photo from Wikimedia Commons. Click on the photo to see the original)

(*) I heard yesterday that because of warmer winters at least one pair of elegant trogons now stays in the area year-round.

p.s.  On July 31 in Huachuca Canyon I saw four elegant trogons.  Wow!

3 thoughts on “How Big Is An Elegant Trogon?

  1. Enjoy. Forgot to mention yesterday: keep an eye out for jaguars (!), they do roam the area (infrequently).

  2. Oh, Kate, I certainly hope you find your Elegant Trogan! I missed the pair near you in ’94 as the Mt. was too steep for me to climb. (I did try) But I found the pair at Cave Creek Canyon west of Rodeo, NM. At that time and probably now you had to go into NM to get back into AZ! A young man and his very elderly mother were picnicing there from Rodeo and she had been a guide when she was younger taking birders to see them! Listen for a hen turkey calling. We saw them every day when we heard that sound. It is a very beautiful bird. Enjoy your trip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *