Trogons of Vietnam – Trogonidae

With 3 species Trogons of Vietnam, although they are one of the fewest families of species, all of them have the beauty that birders may catalog most wanted to fill in their bird list.

You may know: Mention Vietnam to anyone who has spent time birding in the country or is perhaps planning a birding trip to Vietnam in the future and the names of two particular bird families will surely come up, pittas and laughing thrushes for a little harder Trogons might be the best bird you want to see.

The overview of Trogons families

The Trogons and quetzals are birds in the order Trogoniformes /troʊˈɡɒnɪfɔːrmiːz/ which contains only one family, the Trogonidae. The family Trogonidae contains 46 species in seven genera. The fossil record of the Trogons dates back 49 million years to the Early Eocene. They might constitute a member of the basal radiation of the order Coraciiformes and order Passeriformes or be closely related to mousebirds and Owls. The word Trogon is Greek for “nibbling” and refers to the fact that these birds gnaw holes in trees to make their nests.

Trogons are residents of tropical forests worldwide. They often sit midway up trees, often well below the canopy level, in areas that afford numerous perches from which they sally while foraging. The greatest diversity is in the Neotropics, where four genera, containing 24 species, occur. The genus Apaloderma contains three African species. The genera Harpactes and Apalharpactes, containing twelve species, are found in Southeast Asia.

Trogons feed on insects, fruit, small vertebrates, and invertebrates and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. They are generally not migratory, although some species undertake partial local movements. Trogons have soft, often colorful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. They are the only type of animal with a heterodactyl toe arrangement.

They nest in holes dug into trees or termite nests, laying 2–4 white or pastel-colored eggs from which altricial chicks hatch after an incubation period of 15 to 19 days. Males and females share in parental care, from incubation on. Brooded attentively by the parents for the first week or so, the chicks develop for 16 to 30 days before they fledge and leave the nest.

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Trogons of Vietnam Highlight note

Trogons of Vietnam

Red-headed Trogon Harpactes erythrocephalus

Status: Common resident

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Tour cover: Central & Northern

Hotspot: Cuc Phuong, Ba Vi, Ba Be

Trogons of Vietnam

Orange-breasted Trogon Harpactes oreskios 

Status: Uncommon resident

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Tours: South-East & Central

Hotspot: Cat Tien, Tan Phu, Da Lat

Ward’s Trogon Harpactes wardi

Status: Rare Local North-West Resident

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Tours: North-West

Hotspot: SaPa – Fansipan Moutain

All Vietnam Birds Families

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