Trogon, Trogon elegans
I came across a group of birders staring up into a sycamore as I drove up the
South Fork road at Cave Creek on the east side of the Chiricahuas on my first
visit to this famous birding mecca in April 2010. They pointed out a male trogon
deep in shade, with his back turned to us. I was only able to get a dark and blurry
photo of the male, but soon the female shown above flew in and posed out in
the open, a real bird photographer's thrill. The next year I was able to do a little
better with a male trogon, see below.
In my 2011 visit to the Chiricahuas, I was again alerted to the presence of trogons along
the South Fork road by birders who reported hearing the call. I joined the group, and
we repeatedly heard the calls of at least two birds, apparently far away across the canyon.
But our estimate of distance turned out to be distorted by the well-known ventriloquial
quality of the trogon vocalizations, as one birder spotted this male calling down in the
canyon, much closer than we had thought. The bird held his position long enough for me
to get this somewhat distant photo, but still a better one than what I'd gotten of the male
the previous year.