Friday, December 2

Ward's trogon

   ›      ›   Ward's trogon - Harpactes wardi.

The Ward's trogon (Harpactes wardi) belongs to the family of trogons and quetzals, Trogonidae in the order Trogoniformes.

These species of trogons are distributed in Northeast India (Arunachal Pradesh), Bhutan, Northeast Myanmar, China (West Yunnan province) and Vietnam (Tonkin region). The Ward's trogon is a sparsely distributed species and it has a moderately small population which is under steady decline. All over its range, this trogon species is becoming uncommon and rare due to habitat loss and degradation.

Ward's trogon - Overview

  • Scientific name: AHarpactes wardi
  • Species author: (Kinnear, 1927)
  • Synonyms: Pyrotrogon wardi Kinnear, 1927
  • Family: Trogonidae › Trogoniformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Common Name: Ward's trogon
  • Other languages: Chinese: 红腹咬鹃, French: Trogon de Ward, German: Rosenschwanztrogon, Spanish: Trogón de Ward, Russian: Розовохвостый азиатский трогон, Japanese: ビルマキヌバネドリ
  • Other names: Ward's Trogon
  • Distribution: India, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Vietnam
  • Diet and feeding habits: grasshoppers, beetles, mantises, moths, berries, fruits, seeds
  • IUCN status listing: Near Threatened (NT)

Appearance, physical description and identification

The Ward's trogon (Harpactes wardi) is a small arboreal bird measuring about 35 to 40 cm in length and weighing 110 to 120 grams. The upperparts are deep maroon and the upperside of wings is dark, metallic, slaty gray with thin long white streaks.


The crown and the upper face of trogon are pinkish crimson. The upper chest is brownish maroon. The lower chest and abdomen is pinkish crimson. The tail is long and central feathers are deep bluish gray. The outer tail feathers are light pink. The bill is deep pink. The irises of this trogon are black and the bare eye-ring is blue.

Indian birds - Image of Ward's trogon - Harpactes wardi
Birds of India - Picture of Ward's trogon - Harpactes wardi by soumyajit nandy
Birds of India - Image of Ward's trogon - Harpactes wardi
Indian birds - Ward's trogon - Harpactes wardi
Indian birds - Ward's trogon - Harpactes wardi
Birds of India - Ward's trogon - Harpactes wardi

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The Ward's trogon is distributed in Northeast India (Arunachal Pradesh), Bhutan, Northeast Myanmar, China (West Yunnan province) and Vietnam (Tonkin region). It has become uncommon and rare in all these areas.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) where there is likely presence of Ward's trogon in India are, Chayang Tajo - Khenewa - Lada, Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, Dichu Reserve Forest, Eaglenest and Sessa Sanctuaries, Koloriang - Sarli - Damin area, Lava - Neora Valley National Park, Lowland forests of South Sikkim, Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary, Shergaon, Mandla - Phudung and Kalaktang and Zemithang - Nelya.

Ecosystem and habitat

These Ward's trogon species have high forest dependency and prefer montane forests. They inhabit lower story of the montane evergreen, seasonal rainforests, subtropical hill forests, bamboo forests and semi-evergreen forests.

Diet and feeding habits

The diet of the Ward's trogon is mostly insects like grasshoppers, beetles, mantises, crickets, moths, butterflies, cicadas and locust. It also feeds on berries, fruits and seeds.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these trogon species is assumed to be from March to April, as birds in breeding conditions were spotted during this period. Nesting sites and nests are not recorded. It is assumed that like rest of these trogon family, they may be nesting in holes in trees excavated with their bill.

Migration and movement patterns

These Ward's trogon species are non migratory resident birds. Post breeding dispersal of juveniles takes place. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding. They make local altitudinal migration, moving to lower elevations in foothills and valleys during the winter.


Conservation status and concerns

The global population size of the Ward's trogon has not been quantified. The overall population size is considered to be under decline. Their generation length is 7.3 years. This trogon is a sparsely distributed species and it has a moderately small population which is under steady decline. All over its range, this trogon species is becoming uncommon and rare due to habitat loss and degradation.

The Ward's trogon is slowly approaching the thresholds for being Vulnerable under the range size criterion, the population trend criterion and the population size criterion. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the Ward's trogon (Harpactes wardi) and has listed it as "Near Threatened (NT)".

Taxonomy and scientific classification of Harpactes wardi
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Trogoniformes
Family:Trogonidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Harpactes
Species:H. wardi
Binomial name:Harpactes wardi
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened
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1.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harpactes_wardi_-Eaglenest_Wildlife_Sanctuary,_Arunachal_Pradesh,_India-8.jpg
Image author: soumyajit nandy | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 (as on 2016-12-02)
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
Image author: Allan Drewitt et al | License: Public domain
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
Image author: Allan Drewitt et al | License: Public domain
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