Family Trogons (Trogonidae)

Least Concern

Black-throated Trogon (Trogon rufus)


French: Trogon aurore German: Schwarzkehltrogon Spanish: Trogón amarillo

Trogon rufus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,



Possibly closest to T. curucui, T. elegans (with T. ambiguus), T. mexicanus, T. collaris and T. personatus; DNA studies suggest that T. elegans (with T. ambiguus), T. collaris and T. personatus may be nearest relatives. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. r. tenellus Cabanis, 1862 – E Honduras, Nicaragua, both slopes of Costa Rica (except NW) and Panama, and extreme NW Colombia.
  • T. r. cupreicauda (Chapman, 1914) – W Colombia and NW Ecuador.
  • T. r. rufus J. F. Gmelin, 1788 – E Venezuela and the Guianas to N Brazil (R Negro region and Amapá).
  • T. r. sulphureus Spix, 1824 – SE Colombia, E Ecuador, NE Peru, W Brazil (E to R Negro and R Madeira) and N Bolivia.
  • T. r. amazonicus Todd, 1943 – NC Brazil (lower Amazon Valley).
  • T. r. chrysochloros Pelzeln, 1856 – Paraguay, NE Argentina and E & SE Brazil (Bahia to Rio Grande do Sul, and including Mato Grosso); presumably this race in NE Brazil (Alagoas).
  • Descriptive notes

    23–25 cm; 48–57 g. Male nominate race with bill greenish-yellow, orbital ring pale blue; face and throat black; crown, breast and upperparts metallic olive-green... read more


    Song a slowly delivered series of 2–5 clear, mellow, deliberate “cow” whistles,... read more


    Inhabits understorey and mid-levels of humid lowland primary forest and adjacent tall second growth... read more

    Food and feeding

    Possibly less frugivorous than most other Neotropical trogons; absence of regurgitated seeds in nest-bottoms suggests incubating birds much... read more


    Feb–Jun in Costa Rica, Feb–Jul in Panama; birds in breeding condition in Feb–May in Colombia; Mar in Venezuela, Oct in... read more


    Generally resident. A record in Costa Rica from near Golfo de Nicoya was undoubtedly of a stray... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common in limited range in Honduras; in Costa Rica, common on Caribbean slope (except in drier lowland areas) and S Pacific slope... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Black-throated Trogon (Trogon rufus). 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 27 January 2020).