Yard Birds 1

I have a small gnatcatcher to thank for pointing out this stunning couple in my yard. As a birder, my eyes catch and follow movement among the trees, while my ears listen for cheeps, chirps, and whistles.

So even though these Black-headed Trogons (Trogon melanocephalus) are vibrantly colored, and by no means tiny, I almost overlooked this pair since they were so still and quiet. And no, I never did get a good shot of that gnatcatcher, it zipped away while I was photographing these two.

Though the genus name trogon is Greek for nibbling (since they chew on wood to make their nests), this species is a bit of a standout as they nest in active termitaria (technical term for termite nests). I think they’re pretty smart, why do all that extra work if you don’t have to?


Categories: Nature Notes


  1. So interesting to see another version of a trogan! Wow. You are really going to expand your bird list while you are there.


    • I know, right? More brightly colored and yet still so similar to the Elegant Trogon found in southern Arizona, especially in mannerisms. I think there are 10 species in the trogon family down here, I wonder how many I’ll get to see? Plus, I haven’t even gone on a birding adventure yet, these were just in my yard. So cool!


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