The Violaceous Trogon (Trogon violaceus), also known as the Guianan Trogon, is a near passerine bird in the trogon family, Trogonidae. It is found in humid forests in the Amazon Basin of South America and on the island of Trinidad, although some authorities have argued for treating the west Amazonian population as a separate species, the Amazonian Trogon (T. ramonianus). Until recently, the Gartered Trogon (T. caligatus) of Mexico, Central America and north-western South America was generally considered a subspecies of the Violaceous Trogon.
Violaceous Trogons feed on insects and small fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. They typically perch upright and motionless.
Trogons have distinctive male and female plumages, with soft, often colourful, feathers. This relatively small species is about 23 centimetres (9.1 in) long and weighs 56 grams (2.0 oz). The head and upper breast of the male are blue and the back is green, becoming bluer on the rump. A faint white line separates the breast from the orange yellow underparts. The undertail is white with black barring, and the wings are black, vermiculated with white. The complete eye-ring is yellow. The female Violaceous Trogon resembles the male, but has a dark grey back, head and breast, and an incomplete white eye-ring.
This species resembles the White-tailed Trogon, but the latter is larger and has a complete pale blue eye-ring in both sexes. Furthermore, the male White-tailed Trogon lacks barring to the undertail.
The shade of the blue of the head in the male differs between the Violaceous Trogon and the Gartered Trogon, but (disregarding their separate distributions) the call is the main distinction between the two. The Gartered has a slurred whistled cuh-cuh-cuh, and Violaceous has a soft cow cow, cow.
- BirdLife International (2004). Trogon violaceus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 6 May 2006.
- South American Classification Committee (2008). Recognize Trogon caligatus as a separate species from Trogon violaceus (2).
- ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.
- Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.
- Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2011. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.10). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/ [Accessed 15 November 2011].