Order: Trogoniformes

Family:  Trogonidae

Scientific name: Harpactes fasciatus, Pennant, 1769

IUCN Red list status-Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Malabar Trogon is the only Trogon species found in Kerala.


The Malabar Trogon is a medium-sized brightly coloured, sexually dimorphic bird which measures about 28-30 cm in length and 60 to 65 grams weight. The bill and the skin around the eyes are blue. The iris is black and feet are pale blue. Tufts of filo plumes cover the nostrils. The male trogon has black head and breast which is separated by a white ring from the crimson belly and underside. The back is rusty or olive brown. The wing coverts are black with fine white vermiculation. The tail feathers are graduated. The female is less colourful with orange brown under parts.


The diet of Malabar Trogon consists of insects like spiders, dragonflies, flies, ants, aphids, caterpillars, moths, beetles, grasshoppers, cicadas, bugs and stick-insects. They also feed seeds, leaves and berries. They are mainly arboreal feeders. The forage time is mainly day and it is done solitarily or in pairs.


Malabar Trogon is a forest bird. It inhabits in dense primary and secondary forests, evergreen forests and semi-evergreen forests. India it is distributed in the peninsular region especially in the humid areas of Western and Eastern Ghats. Apart from South India, it found in Sri Lanka also.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season of Malabar Trogon is from February to June in India. They are generally monogamous and nests in hollows of rotting trees or stumps. Both male and female birds excavate the nest with their bills and it will be lined with wood power. Normally 2-3 eggs are laid. The female incubates in the night and the male takes its turn in the day. The incubation period is 20-22 days. The young ones are cared by both parents.


The call is a musical low intensity “que” or “mew” sound repeated 3-4 times.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Red Headed Trogon (Harpactes erythrocephalus).
  • Orange Breasted Trogon (Harpactes oreskios).
  • Red Naped Trogon (Harpactes kasumba).
  • Cinnamon Rumped Trogon (Harpactes orrhophaeus).
  • Scarlet Rumped Trogon (Harpactes duvaucelii).
  • Harpactes fasciatus malabaricus of central and southern Western Ghats.
  • Harpactes fasciatus legerli of northern end of Western Ghats in Gujarat and areas of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Harpactes fasciatus fasciatus of in Sri Lanka.

Migratory Behaviour

Uncommon resident