trogon (trōˈgŏn) [key], family of tropical jungle birds related to the roadrunners and including the quetzal. Trogons are sedentary arboreal birds, 10 to 14 in. (25.4–35.6 cm) long, with short rounded wings, long squared tails, and small weak legs. Their soft, colorful plumage—metallic green or brown above with red, green, blue, or yellow on the head, breast, and belly—blends with the shadowy light of the jungle. Their cooing, ventriloquial call resembles that of the peacock. Trogons feed on insects and fruits and nest in cavities. The coppery-tailed trogon ranges into the S United States. Trogons are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Trogoniformes, family Trogonidae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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