Trogon, a tropical tree-perching bird. Trogons are found from southern Texas and Arizona to Argentina; in the West Indies; in Africa, south of the Sahara; and in India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. There are about 35 species. One species, the coppery-tailed trogon, is found in the United States.
Trogons are colorful birds with red, yellow, or orange abdomens and green, blue, brown, or violet chests and backs. In many species, the chest and upper parts have a metallic luster. The females are generally duller than the males. Trogons range in length from about 9 to 14 inches (23 to 36 cm). In the breeding season the male of one genus, the quetzals, grows a few tail feathers up to three feet (90 cm) longer than the rest.
Trogons make up an ancient family with no known living close relatives. They have fragile skin, and their feathers are so weakly attached that even slight handling causes them to fall out. Trogons are primarily birds of the forest and woodland. Insects and other small animals are their main food. The New World species, however, eat considerable quantities of fruit. Trogons make their nests in cavities in trees or stumps. They lay from two to four light-colored, unmarked eggs.
Trogons make up the family Trogonidae. The coppery-tailed trogon is Trogon elegans.