2. Elegant Trogon Surveys of Sky Islands in Southeast Arizona

2019 Elegant Trogon Volunteer Surveys

Elegant Trogon male by Julio Mulero

Elegant Trogon male by Julio Mulero

There is an abundance of evidence, both anecdotal and scientific, that the ecological influence of tropical Mexico has grown over the last century in Southeastern Arizona. Mammals such as Javalina and White-nosed Coati have both extended their range out the tropics into southern Arizona as part of this larger ecological system expansion. The expansion continues even today with the birding community noting the recent increase in prevalence of Gray Hawks and rarities in general including the recent first ever US nesting record of Tufted Flycatcher this past spring. Elegant Trogons are also part of this story with their United States range expanding over the last century which can be tracked with mainly anecdotal evidence and isolated incidents of collecting.  To further our understanding of how many Elegant Trogons there are in the US organized surveys have been ongoing in the Chiricahuas and Huachucas led by Rick Taylor for many years and beginning in 2013 Jennie MacFarland and Tucson Audubon assisted Rick and helped expand the surveys to three more ranges. The new areas we have surveyed since 2013 are the Atascosa Highlands, Santa Rita Mountains and Patagonia Mountains.

Sign up for an Elegant Trogon volunteer survey at this link

Elegant Trogon pair by Budgora

Elegant Trogon pair by Budgora


  • Sunday May 18 – Atascosas (near Nogales)
  • Saturday May 25 – Patagonias (near Patagonia)
  • Sunday May 26 – Santa Ritas (near Green Valley)
  • Saturday June 1 – Huachucas (near Sierra Vista)
  • Sunday June 2 – Chiricahuas (near Portal)

Surveyor Resources

Here is a link to a pdf called “Call info for Elegant Trogons” – this is from Rick Taylor’s book and is a really nice description of the different types of sounds etc. that trogons make and why. Definitely worth reading.

Call info for Elegant Trogons_R. Taylor book scan

Audio Files of different calls made by Elegant Trogons as described in the pdf above. To save these mp3 audio files just right click on the link and select “Save Link As” and you can then save it as a mp3

Koink Call_AZFO_ELTR_2_deviche_071501

Kow Call_Xeno-Canto_Elegant Trogon Madera Canyon 2

W-kkkk Call_ Elegant Trogon Alarm Call_XC158395-9991075

Identification, tips on how to find an Elegant Trogon and other information about these birds from Cornell can be found here

A note about doing the AZ IBA Elegant Trogon Spring Surveys

These surveys are an all morning commitment and could be more depending on how far away you live. The survey areas are all located in SE Arizona. There is a chance you will see an Elegant Trogon but it is certainly not guaranteed. This is a survey and it is important that areas get checked where a trogon could be even if it is not the most likely location. Many routes require hiking but we always have a few that are suitable for those not comfortable hiking. Let us know if you need one of these routes. This is important conservation work – thank you for signing up! If you need more information please call Jennie at (520) 209-1804

Elegant Trogon in Corral Canyon Patagonia Mountains by Laurens Halsey May 2014

Elegant Trogon Survey Results 2018

See an interactive map of all results on a Google MyMaps Here! Go Here to see 2017 results. Total Elegant Trogons counted in AZ during 2018 survey period: 183 Results by Range and Route for 2018 Atascosa Mountains: 2 Pairs, …

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Elegant Trogon male by Julio Mulero

Elegant Trogon Survey Results 2017

2017 Elegant Trogon Data Total Elegant Trogons counted in AZ during 2017 survey = 160 Elegant Trogon Survey Results by each mountain range Atascosa Mountains –8 pairs, 16 males, 1 female = 33 total Elegant Trogons Walker Canyon – 2 …

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