Wildlife Sighting in the CER: Meet the Orange-bellied Trogon

Dear Rainforest Friends,


The CER is absolutely full of wonderful wildlife, and is a prime site for birders. Birding groups as well as loan travelers make it a point to visit both the San Gerardo and Pocosol Field Stations during the high birding season, and a recent visitor was able to take this wonderful photograph of one of the CER’s most colorful residents, the Orange-bellied Trogon.

Natural History

Part of the family Trogonidae, the Orange-bellied Trogon (Trogon aurantiiventris) is a resident throughout Costa Rican highlands and some areas of Panama, ranging from subtropical to tropical moist montane forest, as well as heavily degraded former forest (a total range of about 27,300 km2). It is a fairly common species, and its diet mainly consists of fruits and arthropods. The Orange-bellied Trogon is often confused with its close cousin the Collared Trogon (Trogon collaris), which is described as having a red chest as opposed to orange, and has a much larger range. The call of the Orange-bellied Trogan is a combination of two uncomplicated hoots, and is easy to identify due to its simplicity. Once the call is identified, it is simple to locate and see the bird (In my opinion, it is a wonderful bird to search for due to its long perching periods in the canopy).

Where Can You find the Orange-bellied Trogan in the CER?

The best places to spot the Orange-bellied Trogan in the CER are at the San Gerardo and Pocosol Field Stations. Both field stations have over 5-10 kilometers of trails and various clear areas for optimal bird watching. In fact, you can probably count on the Orange-bellied Trogan waking you up at the San Gerardo Field Station, just in time for breakfast!

For the Forest,

Mia Roberts


1) Remsen, J.V., Hyde, Mary Ann, and Chapman, Angela.(1993).The diets of Neotropical trogons, motmots, barbets and toucans. The Condor. 95:178-192.

2) Orange-bellied Trogon (Trogon aurantiiventris). (n.d.) Retrieved from         http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=1016&amp;m=1