Trogon  Pictures and description of 6 species from the family of Trogon birds  

From the family of Trogonidae

The most sort after and also most colorful birds in Malaysia are the Trogons.

There 39 species of these birds of the tropical forest world wide and 12 of them in South-east Asia. We in Malaysia could meet up with all the seven species of birds as most of them originates from the Islands of Sumatra and Borneo

They are medium size birds, much larger than the average Bulbul size, plumb with short broad beak, with weak legs from their diet and arboreal habits. Also note the heterodactyl toe arrangement, the birds have. Though taking only sort flights, the bird could fly relatively fast.

The male and females having different colors with the male being the attraction. Trogons are generally inactive when they are not doing the insect snatching flights and would remain perched for long period of time in an upright posture. This sedated posture could be interpreted as their natural defense against predators for example this habit :- the bird always keep their less brightly colored backs turned towards observers. In the meantime their heads would turn through 180 degrees, maintaining a periodic check on the watcher. Another characteristic of Trogon - they are territorial and monogamous. That's the background as to why the male bird respond quickly to playback.

.  These are insect eating birds but sometimes fruits as well.

Trogons are nice birds to watch and we remember that most Trogons as red. As I do not get the see these birds that often, making an instant ID in the field is not that easy. Take a bit of time for that diagnostic markings to appear. The Orange-breasted Trogon - Yes, as it is yellow as compared to the others having heavy tinge of red. So for this page, I have included some pointers like recognition of diagnostic markings for carrying an ID.

In the process of looking for Trogons, there 3 types of behavior patterns adopted by all Trogons.

1] The bird could quietly fly into a nearby position, usually at the back of the person, unnoticed and not making any call. It would stay perched in that spot for some time.

2] The bird may be calling before it is spotted an would continuing calling even though it is spotted

3] The bird is very territorial, mimicking the call would bring the bird from a far away spot and also draws it into the open.


  1. Cinnamon-rumped Trogon  
  2. Diard's Trogon  
  3. Orange-breasted Trogon   
  4. Red-headed Trogon  
  5. Red-naped Trogon  
  6. Scarlet-rumped Trogon  
  7. Whitehead's Trogon   


I hope those little example given would make the initial ID in the field faster and then on to more positive for firm ID. These birds with their sedentary behavior, very proud of the their territory which makes them easy target with bird calls and in great dangers of being eliminated for our bird list. Combined with the rapid deforestation going on every where, this could be the last chance to collect bird pictures of the Trogons.

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