National Aquarium – White-tailed trogon

White-tailed Trogon

Trogon viridis

National Aquarium – White-tailed trogon National Aquarium – White-tailed trogon National Aquarium – White-tailed trogon National Aquarium – White-tailed trogon

White-tailed trogons are medium-sized, stout-bodied, perching birds with short necks, prominent eyes and large square-tipped tails. Their feet and legs are disproportionately small and often hidden by the feathers of their stomachs. Coloration is predominately black, yellow and white, with the males more brilliantly colored than the females. Male trogons have a metallic green and blue wash over black feathers, and the underside of their tails is mostly white with a few black blotches. The underside of females’ tails is barred with black and white.

Did You Know?

Trogons excavate nesting holes in hollow trees or termite mounds.


In the wild, the trogon's diet is primarily fruit and insects. At the Aquarium, trogons feed on a variety of fruits, berries, vegetables and insects, as well as commercial soft-bill bird pellets.


Males and females are similar in size, about 11 to 12 inches, including the tail.


These trogons range from Panama to northern Bolivia east of the Andes, including most of Brazil. They are found in a variety of habitats, including deciduous, rain and second-growth forests, clearings and along waterways.

Population Status

White-tailed trogons are thought to be relatively common throughout their range.


Birds of prey and snakes are the trogon's primary predators. Fledgling (young) birds are particularly vulnerable to predation because they spend most of their time on low branches or on the ground.

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A Note From the Caretaker

Trogons can be difficult to find in the Aquarium’s Rain Forest because they’re ventriloquists! Their call—a cooing sound—may sound far away, but they may actually be close by. We are the first zoo or aquarium in the country to successfully breed this species. The Aquarium’s breeding program has provided many trogon chicks to other facilities.