|A Cuban trogon In Camaguey Province, Cuban Republic|
The Cuban trogon or tocororo (Priotelus temnurus) is a species of bird in the Trogonidae family. It is endemic to the Caribbean island of Cuba, where it is also the national bird. Its natural habitats are dry forests, moist forests, and heavily degraded former forest. The Cuban trogon has multiple names it can go by. In English speaking countries it is commonly known as the Cuban trogon, while in Spanish speaking countries it is referred to as the tocororo or tocoloro. This local name was derived from its repeated call, toco-toco-tocoro-tocoro. Its scientific name is Priotelus temnurus which is very rarely used in referring to this bird.
The Cuban trogon is very colorful with a green back, blue crown, red belly and beak, and white throat and chest. These colors mimic the colors of the Cuban flag which is why it was chosen to be the national bird of Cuba. It has a long fluffy tail which is unique amongst trogons. From beak to tail, this beautiful bird is between ten and eleven inches. In flight, these birds travel in pairs creating a large amount of noise because of their rough, graceless flying technique. The Cuban trogon is very common and can be found all over the island of Cuba. The only places it is rare to see this bird are on the Isle of Youth, Guajaba, Romano, and Sabinal. They prefer wet and dry forests of all altitudes and like to be in the shade as opposed to the sun. The Cuban trogon nests in already created crevices in trees, primarily abandoned wood pecker holes. The Cuban trogon feeds on flowers, fruits, and insects. Unlike most birds, it is capable of hovering while eating.
The Cuban trogons most common call is toco-toco-tocoro-tocoro, which is where its local name was derived from. It can also send out a short, distressed call that makes its location difficult to find.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Priotelus temnurus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Cuban Trogon. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2012, from Princeton University Press website: http://press.princeton.edu/birds/ident/westindies/6.html
- Cuban Trogon (Priotelus temnurus), the national bird of Cuba. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2012, from Cuba Naturaleza website: http://www.cubanaturaleza.org/en/fauna-animal-life/-birds/-cuban-trogon-tocororo-priotelus-temnurus.html
- Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2012, from PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/cuba-wild-island-of-the-caribbean/wildlife-guide/1245/