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Trogons: Trogoniformes

Behavior And Reproduction

Trogons fly with a graceful up and down motion, but are reluctant to fly far. Because trogons have short legs and weak feet, they are unable to walk. Normally, they sit still, making them difficult to find. They generally do not migrate.

Trogons pair monogamously (muh-NAH-guh-mus-lee; each bird having just one mate), and become territorial while breeding. They are solitary during the nonbreeding season. The breeding season occurs during the dry season in the tropics when food is more common. Spring and summer breeding is typical among species in temperate (mild) and arid (dry) areas. Males will call out a "wac-wac" sound in order to attract a mate after finding a nest site. Nest sites are usually made in cavities (hollow areas) of live trees or by roughing out holes in decaying tree trunks, but also in epiphyte (EPP-uh-fyte) root masses (plants that grow on others) and termite nests. Females answer with a call and with a show of a lowered tail. Males dig out a nest mostly with the bill, and then sing out for a female to join him. The agreeable female then helps with further construction. Nest cavities are either rising tunnels that lead to chambers, or shallow depressions that leave the occupying bird exposed. Nests are usually reused.

Two to four white or pastel-colored round eggs are laid in the unlined nest cavity. Usually only one brood (young birds born and raised together) occurs each year. The incubation period (time it takes to sit and hatch eggs) is sixteen to twenty-one days, being shared by both sexes but with the female usually sitting during the night. Chicks are hatched helpless, naked, and blind. They are raised by both parents, who feed them regurgitated (food brought up from the stomach) fruit and whole insects. They quickly grow down, and learn how to fly at fifteen to thirty-one days. Chicks breed for the first time at one or two years of age.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsTrogons: Trogoniformes - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Orange-breasted Trogon (harpactes Oreskios): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, TROGONS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS