Saturday, April 25, 2015

Trogons, Costa Rica



Two hungry, tired Collared Trogon babies sprang to life when 'Dad' arrived...only to be presented with a stick.

It seems a cruel trick to bring a stick to hungry chicks instead of food.

The chicks were confused.
I was confused, too.
How was a stick to be appreciated?







(Click any picture to enlarge.)
Twenty feet high in the crumbling remains of a Costa Rican tree, two young Collared Trogons wait once again to be fed. They were born into this tree...it's home...no matter its structural failings.

Trogons live in mountainous areas where old abandoned woodpecker holes are plentiful.

Too young to fly and totally dependent on their parents, they can only wait for their next meal to arrive.


There is plenty of food in the forest. Now, the male Collared Trogon has captured an insect. He holds it delicately, but firmly in his bill. He isn't eating it...it's intended solely for his growing family. Trogons raise their young on spiders, insects and berries. He remained a discrete distance away to make sure he didn't reveal the nest's location.

It is always a concern when photographing birds at nesting sites...Are you disturbing them? Does your presence affect their behavior? Could my presence cause them to abandon the area...nest...chicks?

We had positioned ourselves well up-slope from the nest. That gave me an eye level view into the dark nest hole while remaining well back.

When other birders stopped to join us, this additional activity may have disturbed the male. That might explain the male's hesitation in making a food delivery.

As the others birders lost interest in this waiting game and drifted away one by one, 'Dad' once again visited the chicks. (Photo right: Mark Laux)

                Trogons are rather stocky rounded birds with a square tipped tail and a stout bill.


                     The female Collared Trogon is almost as colorful as her male companion.








This Black-throated Trogon shares a similar body style and equally colorful plumage.

I found him on the Pacific side of Costa Rica resting overhead ...unconcerned with a stranger walking beneath him.

Costa Rica can boast of having ten different trogons in their small country, where as the United States only gets one...the Elegant Trogon.


The Elegant Trogon's reach into the United States barely makes it into southern Arizona.

I found this one in April of 2012 in the Santa Rita Mountains just 50 miles north of the Mexican border.

You can read about this Elegant Trogon by entering Elegant Trogon into the search box above.

Allan

Credit: The Birds of Costa Rica by 
              Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean
Credit: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds