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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

21 Malabar Trogon Facts You’ll Never Forget

Malabar trogon facts are interesting.

The Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) is one of the species of the Trogonidae family that is endemic to peninsular India and Sri Lanka. It is a mid-sized songbird that shows a wonderful variety of bright colors like a purple finch. Sexual dimorphism exists between the plumage of male and female Malabar trogons. These birds are also known by some alternate names like Ceylon trogons and Indian trogons based on their native range. Although they are not treated as a globally threatened species because of the absence of sufficient evidence, their population has undergone a substantial decline due to extensive forest fragmentation. In some parts of their range in India, these trogons are suspected to be locally extinct in a few areas.

Fortunately, a fairly large population exists in South India. They are also protected in a bird sanctuary in Kerala where many Malabar trogon birds are found. In Sri Lanka, the Malabar trogon is frequently observed in humid forests, however, they are absent from dry and hilly regions. The declining rate of the population has not been quantified but the trend appears to be stable. Therefore, the declining rate might be slower than the rate required to reach the threshold of endangered animals.

If you are in search of more facts about the birds, keep on reading this article. For similar content check out trogon and paddyfield warbler facts too.

Malabar Trogon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Malabar trogon?

The Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) is a type of bird of the Trogonidae family that is found in the hill forests of Central India and Sri Lanka.

What class of animal does a Malabar trogon belong to?

Malabar trogons of the Harpactes genus and Trogonidae family belong to the class Aves, the common class for all birds.

How many Malabar trogons are there in the world?

The global population of the Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) species is unknown, however, their distribution is described as frequent in India. Recently, these birds have become rare in many parts of their range and their population has declined in parts of Surat, Gujarat where they were known to be commonly spotted in various sanctuaries and national parks. Their population trend is suspected to be unstable.

Where does a Malabar trogon live?

The distribution of Malabar trogons (Harpactes fasciatus) covers the entire peninsular India and parts of Sri Lanka. The subspecies H.f. malabaricus is found most frequently. H.f. malabaricus are found throughout the Western and the Eastern Ghats in West and East India. The subspecies H.f. legerli populate southern Gujarat and northwestern parts of the Indian Peninsula. The subspecies H.f. fasciatus is restricted to Sri Lankan forests.

What is a Malabar trogon's habitat?

The Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) species is distributed throughout humid tropical forests. They are found in primary and secondary deciduous forests as well as evergreen forests.

Who do Malabar trogons live with?

This trogon species is generally solitary and they live with their pairs only during the breeding season. Sometimes they are found to forage in flocks of two to four individuals.

How long does a Malabar trogon live?

The lifespan of the Malabar trogon species has not been determined.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) lasts from February to June in Peninsular India and March to May in Sri Lanka. The process of breeding in these birds begins with a sweet Malabar trogon call, known as their mating call. The adult male produces sweet calls while perched on a visible forest branch in order to attract nearby females. If a female is attracted to the male's call, it reciprocates by producing its own mating call. After the male and female produce a series of alternate calls to identify a worthy mate, breeding takes place in this Malabar trogon species. The bird pairs search for suitable nests in the forest together. Generally, Malabar trogon nests are found in tree holes or cavities excavated in rotten wood stumps. The females lay around two to four eggs after a gestation period of one month and they are incubated by both parents. There is no information regarding the incubation period or the fledging period of this bird species.

What is their conservation status?

The Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) is classified as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. They do not approach the threshold of vulnerable species because of their large range. These birds have a large enough population to currently be evaluated as a species of Least Concern. However, ongoing fragmentation of forests has destroyed many suitable habitats in their range. Therefore in some areas, they are gradually becoming rarer.

Malabar Trogon Fun Facts

What do Malabar trogons look like?

Malabar trogons (Harpactes fasciatus) are medium-sized birds with striking colors that are found in the hill forests of Central India and Sri Lanka. Like the physical description of most species of the trogon family, they are also sexually dimorphic. The males have a dark black head extending up to the neck and upper breast. The black head is demarcated from the bright crimson belly by a fine white line. The wing coverts are black marked by white vermiculations. The females have a dull brown head which fades into an olive-brown plumage on the back. The underside of the females is also crimson similar to the saffron finch but is much duller than the males.

Malabar trogon females look duller than males.

How cute are they?

The Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) is a striking bird, especially the male trogon. They look very beautiful.

How do they communicate?

The bird communicates by vocalizations. The three-note 'cue-cue-cue' Malabar trogon sound is their most common vocalization.

How big is a Malabar trogon?

The average length of a Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) is 12 in (30 cm). They are approximately two times smaller than palm warblers.

How fast can a Malabar trogon fly?

The Malabar trogon is considered to be a sluggish flyer. However, their speed is unknown.

How much does a Malabar trogon weigh?

The average weight of a Malabar trogon is 2.2 oz (62.36 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female Malabar trogon birds are referred to as cock and hen respectively.

What would you call a baby Malabar trogon?

A baby trogon is known as a chick.

What do they eat?

A Malabar trogon is carnivorous in nature. Their diet includes caterpillars, moths, bugs, beetles, and cicadas.

Are they dangerous?

No, the Malabar trogon is not a dangerous species.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they do not make good pets.

Did you know...

The common name Malabar trogon might be considered to be a misnomer as the bird is actually more widespread over the coasts of Odhisa in east India than the Malabar coast of the Western Ghats. The reason behind this is that the people of Odhisa are comparatively more into birding than people in the western range of India.

The word 'trogon' is Greek for 'nibbling'.

Is the Malabar trogon endemic?

Malabar trogon birds are endemic throughout a large range in India and Sri Lanka.

How many species of trogon are there?

Currently, around 35 trogon species have been recorded worldwide.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Surucua trogon facts and Hispaniolan trogon facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable exotic bird coloring pages.

Main image by Vinay Bhat

Second image by Ravi_naidu_wildlife

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