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The Phantom Of the Forest - Malabar Trogon (male)


The Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) is a species of bird in the trogon family. It is found in the forests of Sri Lanka and peninsular India. In India it is mainly found in the Western Ghats, hill forests of central India and in parts of the Eastern Ghats. They are insectivorous and although they are not migratory, they may make seasonal movements in the hill regions.

Like most other trogons, these birds are brightly coloured and sexually dimorphic. The male has a slaty black head and breast with a white border to the black bib separating it from the crimson on the underside. The back is olive-brown to chestnut. The wing coverts are black with fine white vermiculations. They have 12 tail feathers that are graduated.

Malabar Trogons feed exclusively on insects and fruits have not been noted in their diet unlike in the New World trogons.In the Nilgiri hills they are altitudinal migrants and are found in the higher reaches only during summer.

The species is becoming rarer in many parts of India and it is said to be sensitive to forest fragmentation.



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