Trogons of Costa Rica
Poster 19×27 inches – Recycled Algae paper, beige 250 gr. Color pencil, each poster comes with a flyer with information about distribution and diet + stickers.
These generalist foragers of tropical forests often reveal their presence only by their deep whistled or chuckled calls. Once spotted, trogons can be distinguished by their hunched shoulders and long tails, and their underparts of bright yellow, red, or orange and upperparts of iridescent dark green or blue or matte cinnamon make a feast for the eyes. Sexual dimorphism in trogons grows most extreme in the quetzals, in which even the males, with their spectacularly long tail coverts, take an active role in incubating and feeding chicks in their tree-hole nest. Males sometimes aggregate loosely for days at a time early in the breeding season, but why they do so remains unclear.
•Plumage soft, often iridescent blue or green above, matte red or yellow below; patterns slightly more diverse in Old World species, with orange in many species.
•Wings short, rounded; tail long, truncate or graduated, often with distinctive black-and-white pattern beneath.
•Body medium-sized; shape elongate; posture dominated by hunched shoulders, typically with upright carriage.
•Bill short, broad, often serrate, usually with rictal bristles.
•Head medium-sized, with unfeathered orbital ring and (in a few species) facial skin; neck short.
•Legs and feet small, thin; toes with unique heterodactyl arrangement.
•Males more colorful than females
Trogons inhabit a wide variety of forest types, spanning a rainfall continuum from relatively dry pine-oak forests to humid tropical rainforest. Trogons often sit midway up trees, often well below the canopy level, in areas that afford numerous perches from which they sally while foraging.
Diet and Foraging
Trogons eat fruits, small vertebrates, and invertebrates. Studies of Neotropical trogons have shown their diet to consist mainly of fruit and insects, with some of the larger species taking vertebrate prey up to the size of small frogs and lizards. Studies of Asian trogons reveal diets that are similar to those of New World species. African trogons, however, are thought to be exclusively insectivorous, and quetzals feed almost entirely on fruit for most of the year.
Trogons are monogamous with biparental care. All are cavity-nesting birds, usually nesting in a hole made by other species or excavating their own hole in the pithy mass of a termite nest or a rotten trunk. Trogons lay 2 to 4 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.