An infuriatingly difficult bird to see, thanks to their habit of sitting dead still for long periods in their dense forest habitat, the beautiful Narina Trogon is a prized target for bird watchers and wildlife photographers alike. Their call is often the first, and usually only, indication of their presence but is seldom heard outside of the breeding season. It feeds on a wide variety of insects, other invertebrates and even reptiles and amphibians the size of small chameleons. They’re usually found singly or in pairs.
Narina Trogons form monogamous pairs and breed in hollows in trees. During the summer breeding season the male is fiercely territorial and will even drive away birds of other species. Clutches of 2-4 eggs are incubated by both parents for between 2 and 3 weeks. The chicks leave the nest by 4 weeks of age but remain with their parents for several months more. Fully grown, Narina Trogons measure about 32cm long and weigh in the region of 67g.
The IUCN lists the Narina Trogon as being of least concern. While it has a very wide distribution over much of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, in South Africa they’re mainly found only in a narrow stretch along the coast from the Garden Route through the Eastern Cape, into Kwazulu-Natal, and then along the forests of the escarpment into Mpumalanga and Limpopo as far as the Soutpansberg.