Family Trogons (Trogonidae)

Least Concern

Black-tailed Trogon (Trogon melanurus)


French: Trogon à queue noire German: Schwarzschwanztrogon Spanish: Trogón colinegro común

Trogon melanurus


, 1838,

Demerara (= Georgetown), Guyana


Closest relatives may be T. clathratus, T. massena and T. comptus; genetic data suggest that present species may be paraphyletic with respect to last two of those#R. Until recently, considered conspecific with T. mesurus (which see). Sometimes thought to include race australis of T. massena. Race macroura sometimes suggested as being a distinct species, and australis then regarded by some authors as belonging therein. Birds from Amazonian Brazil sometimes separated as race occidentalis, but probably indistinguishable from eumorphus. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. m. macroura Gould, 1838 – Large-tailed Trogon – C Panama (E of Canal Zone) to N Colombia and extreme NW Venezuela (W Zulia).
  • T. m. melanurus Swainson, 1838 – Black-tailed Trogon – E of Andes from Colombia E through Venezuela to the Guianas and NE Brazil (S to Maranhão).
  • T. m. eumorphus J. T. Zimmer, 1948 – Amazon Basin from E Ecuador and Peru E to NC Brazil (to E of Manaus), S to N Bolivia (to Cochabamba and Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    28–30 cm; 52–122 g. Male nominate race with yellow bill, orange-red orbital ring; face and throat blackish; crown, nape, upperparts and breast green; white... read more


    Calls very like those of T. massena, but notes louder, more resonant, perhaps given faster... read more


    Humid lowland and foothill forest, forest edge and second-growth woodland on both slopes in Panama... read more

    Food and feeding

    Berries, palm and other fruits, Cecropia flower tassels, also insects including Orthoptera (locustids), Coleoptera (cerambycids,... read more


    Mar in Panama; in NW Colombia, birds in breeding condition in Jan–May, nest excavation in Mar; Jul–Oct in French Guiana, Sept... read more


    Largely resident; however, in Bolivia, birds move from dry forest in wet season to lowland... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon and rather local in Canal area, Panama, but more numerous in E lowlands. In Colombia, common in lower Atrato Valley and E of Andes, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black-tailed Trogon (Trogon melanurus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 July 2019).