Collared trogon at Torito

Male Collared trogon

Male Collared trogon

A brief visit to the village of Torito, located a few kilometers above Guayabo Arriba, brought a couple of nice sightings.  One was a male Red-headed barbet (Eubucco bourcierii), on which I have already commented, but even this pretty bird was outdone by a pair of Collared trogons (Trogon collaris) hidden at first in the thick forest that surrounds a small path down to a waterfall.  By the way, the waterfall has a large cavern behind it, which seems an ideal roosting place for swifts.  I shall try to investigate further now that I have discovered the place.

The male trogon appeared first, calling loudly and raising his tail with some violence with each squawk.  The text description of the call does not match the squawk that I heard, but subsequent listenings to recordings have confirmed my ears.  In the half-light, the vent seemed more orange than red, and I suspected the very similar Orange-bellied trogon (Trogon aurantiiventris), yet the belly was definitely red rather than orange.  This seems to be the only major difference between the two species, both of which are found in similar habitat in Costa Rica.  The beautiful photograph above is courtesy of Richard Garrigues.  The female has none of the male’s bright colours, but her later appearance at least meant that I could exclude other trogons (except the Orange-bellied) from the identification.

The only trogon that appears regularly in my area (though not yet in San Antonio itself) is the yellow-bellied Violaceous trogon, recently re-baptised Gartered trogon (Trogon violaceus).  Here’s a nice headshot, courtesy of Karel Straatman.

Our commonest trogon, the Violaceous, now Gartered trogon.

Our commonest trogon, the Violaceous, now Gartered trogon.

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