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Slaty-Tailed Trogon in Belize
Trogon massena-male
In the pantropical family of brightly colored forest birds called Trogonidae is an order called Trogoniformes.

Trogons are medium-size arboreal birds, colored with green or blue-violet above and red, orange, or
yellow below. With their long tails, short legs, and short, heavy bills, trogons superficially resemble parrots,
but trogons have much smaller bills and orbital eye rings. There are 9 species of Trogon in Central America
4 and sometimes 5 can be found in Belize. Elegant Trogons (Trogon elegans) occupy moist canyons lined
with hardwoods; they occur farther south in thorn scrub and tropical broadleaf forests. Violaceous Trogon.prefer mountain slopes covered with pine woodlands and coniferous forests but are found throughout Belize.
A famous member of the Trogonidae is the Resplendent Quetzal now retreated from Belize is a resident of
the Maya mountains in Guatemala.
My observation was that its head back and tail bend forward to form a crescent posture, projecting only blue green and violet that matched the foliage color and curves. This plus their motionlessness camouflage even this colorful bird. The black-headed Trogon found countrywide also lives in Ambergris’s mangrove and littoral forests.
It nests in tree cavities and sometimes excavating termite nests for shelters. They eat fruit, insects and small
animals. The Trogon at my house is cuckoo about coconuts. I open the coconut and place it atop a boton
about 5 feet of the ground near the birdbath outside my window by my rocking chair. It’s the dry season
on Ambergris, months of little to no rain cause the birds to move around in search of water. I keep two bird
baths full this time of year and my reward is to be able to sit and have come to me birds I don’t normally
see in my little cocal. Among the Trogons unique features is the heterodactyl foot, with the inner front toe
turned backward. I asked Bubba to explain why we include what kind of feet birds have in our articles.
He said, “You can look at a birds feet and know what it does. Many people think that a bird’s knees bend
backward. Birds actually walk on their toes; however, the backward-oriented joints that seem to be their
knees are their ankles. The extended projections that we call bird feet are made up of greatly extended toe
bones. Starting at the toe tips and working upward, one sees that avian joints bend the same way human
joints do – birds’ joints are just in unexpected places.
Birds’ feet have a wide variety of uses, including locomotion (running, walking, hopping), clinging,
climbing, carrying, perching, killing prey, preening, holding food, cradling eggs, aerial courtship, swimming,
steering underwater, and absorbing the impact of water landings, to name just a few and you can just bet
that the bird is equipped with the correct feet for what it does the most.Most birds have toes arranged in an anisodactyl manner, with three toes pointing forward and one toe pointing to the rear. The hind toe, called a hallux, is the structural equivalent of the big toe on a human foot. Other birds, such as owls, cuckoos, woodpeckers, and parrots, have a zygodactyls arrangement, with two toes forward and two toes back. These work very well when standing on a vertical surface.
Lobes and palmations (webbing between the toes) assist in swimming or walking on loose surfaces. Some
species have special adaptations in their foot structure; for instance, the Ospreys on Ambergris (Pandion
haliaetus) have spiked scales on the bottoms of their feet that enable them to grab slippery fish, and Great
Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) have a serrated talon used in preening. All of the Latin words that described
the different types of birds feet contained the word,’dactyl’ an old Latin term that means ‘skillfully and
artfully constructed. Our bird of the week The Trogon has heterodactylous feet, unlike any other bird in
the world. The basic arrangement of two toes in front and two toes in back is shared by many families but
in those birds it is the outer most toe that points backward, in the Trogon the inner toe has rotated back.
Trogons have short legs and weak feet, traits that limit their ability to walk and climb. Natural selection
dictates that there is a purpose for everything. Trogons belong to the sole family within the order Trogiforms
and appear to have no close relatives among living birds and are considered rare. Biologist have conducted
few studies of Trogons, and large gaps remain in or knowledge of these birds. The primary threat to this
species are logging of native forest. Tourism in Belize has provided an economic incentive to preserve large
tracts of wilderness needed not only by Trogons but other endemics. Fertile ground for a bright future.

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just wanted to say that you fill my world with rapture........... i thank you for that

как я тебе завидую! У вас тепло, а у нас тут мороз=((

How I wish I could visit a tropical country with such a nice wildlife

Tourism is big here and LAX has a plane that leaves every day. :-)

Great picture - as always. And very interesting text, though a little bit difficult for reading. As a former Biologist I made my way to the end, but a few paragraph breaks would make it much easier;)

And just a single correction: "δάκτυλος" is not a Latin word. Taxonomy is a mix of Greek and Latin and I am so boring, I know:)

Your right . I caught myself calling it Latin several times , I guess it should be called 'the scientific name'.

and not boring ,good info for me.

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