Gartered Trogon (Trogon caligatus)

The Gartered Trogon (Trogon caligatus), also known as the northern violaceous trogon, is a near passerine bird in the trogon family, Trogonidae. It is found in forests in east-central Mexico, south through Central America, to north-western South America (west or north of the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela).  It was formerly treated as a subspecies of the otherwise exclusively South American violaceous trogon (T. violaceus).

When I saw this bird during the shore excursion on my cruise in 2011, it was still being called a Violaceous Trogon.  The split came sometime in 2012 and field guides published before then will use the old name.  It gets confusing as I remember my guide calling it a Violaceous Trogon in Selva Verde in 2013!

My photo is blurry so I added shots of a male (1st pic) and female from Wikipedia to show the bird’s beautiful colours to advantage.

g trogon1 g trogon2IMG_5616Their range extends from Mexico through most of Central America to the tip of South America in Colombia.  I have seen them during a shore excursion in Puntarenas and in Selva Verde, Costa Rica.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD

Wikipedia

Birdlife (has not separated the Gartered and Violaceous Trogons)

Cornell Lab

Beauty of Birds

Xeno-canto

VIDEOS

 

Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)

The Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa) is a colourful, medium-sized bird of the motmot family, Momotidae. It inhabits Central America from south-east Mexico (mostly the Yucatán Peninsula), to Costa Rica, where it is common and not considered threatened. It lives in fairly open habitats such as forest edge, gallery forest and scrubland. It is more conspicuous than other motmots, often perching in the open on wires and fences. From these perches it scans for prey, such as insects and small reptiles.

My photos of this stunning little bird were backlit so didn’t do justice to it’s beauty.  Looks like I have to rely on Wikipedia for close-up shots.

motmotcr1 motmotcr2

IMG_5589aThey have a fairly large range throughout Central America from Belize to Costa Rica.  We saw them in Nicaragua around the Granada area and in Costa Rica while enroute to the Manantial Sanctuary.

motmotcr3LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Xeno-Canto

Cornell Lab

VIDEOS

Sometimes it just blows me away when I see how beautiful a bird really is after I saw one in bad light (usually backlit by the sun) and see photos and videos posted by others who were lucky enough to see the bird in good light.  Check out these videos!

 

The Girl And Globe Visits Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas

As much as I would like to, I can’t get to every eco-tourism lodge in the world so I am very happy to see a fellow blogger, Becky from The Girl and Globe visiting Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas.  She was lucky enough to see the beautiful Scarlet Macaw and lots of mammals!

I don’t want to steal Becky’s photos so here is one I took in Costa Rica.

IMG_0766Becky has just made an in-depth visit around Guatemala and has some great advice for anyone who is planning a trip there.

Use your miles for an award to Central America to visit Guatemala.

Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)

All birds are beautiful in one way or another but the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) is spectacularly gorgeous!   They look like little gods come down to earth and when you see one, you will wonder if you should be worshiping it or photographing it.

IMG_1092aThe Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) is a bird in the trogon family. It is found from southern Mexico to western Panama (unlike the other quetzals of the genus Pharomachrus, which are found in South America and eastern Panama). It is well known for its colorful plumage. There are two subspecies, P. m. mocinno and P. m. costaricensis.

This quetzal plays an important role in Mesoamerican mythologies. The Resplendent Quetzal is Guatemala’s national bird, and an image of it is on the flag and coat of arms of Guatemala. It is also the name of the local currency (abbreviation GTQ).

In ancient Mayan culture, the quetzal bird’s tail feathers were used as currency.  The Resplendent Quetzal was considered divine, associated with the “snake god”, Quetzalcoatl by Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations. Its iridescent green tail feathers, symbols for spring plant growth, were venerated by the ancient Aztecs and Maya, who viewed the quetzal as the “god of the air” and as a symbol of goodness and light. Mesoamerican rulers and some nobility of other ranks wore headdresses made from quetzal feathers, symbolically connecting them to Quetzalcoatl. Since it was a crime to kill a quetzal, the bird was simply captured, its long tail feathers plucked, and was set free. Quetzalcoatl was the creator god and god of wind, often depicted with grey hair. In several Mesoamerican languages, the term for quetzal can also mean precious, sacred, or erected.

WHERE TO SEE THEM IN THE WILD

Their habitat is montane cloud forest from Southern Mexico to Panama.  I was lucky enough to see them in 2 locations in Costa Rica – Monteverde & Savegre/San Gerardo de Dota.  Use your airline miles to get to Central America, then use shuttles or public transport to get to these locations.

Red dots are Monteverde & Savegre in Costa Rica

Mature male with fully grown tail feathers

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Females are less spectacular but still beautiful.