Cuba’s National Bird

Cuban trogon (Priotelus temnurus) Cuba's National Bird
Cuba’s National Bird
Tocororo, tocoloro or guatiní
Cuban trogon
(Priotelus temnurus)

The Cuban trogon (Priotelus temnurus) named in different regions of Cuba tocororo, tocoloro or guatiní, is our national bird. This designation is possibly due to two reasons. First, its feathers have the three colors of the national flag. Second, it is a bird that cannot live in captivity, dying of sadness if caged, reflecting the Cuban national character as freedom-loving people.

It is a tropical bird, with resplendent feathers, measuring between 25 cm. and 28 cm. (10 to 11 inches). The crown is deep blue, the wings are barred, the upper part of the chest grayish white and the lower part red. The throat is white and the dorsal part of the body is light green becoming dark green towards the tail. The tail is scalloped. The beak with its upper mandible dark and the lower one reddish. Its eyes are reddish and the legs dark.

The sexes are similar although the female is smaller than the male and the red on her chest is paler.

The names tocororo and tocoloro are onomatopoeic, similar to the voice of this bird. Its other name, guatiní was given by the Cuban Indians.

It eats fruits and insects, lives in woodlands and dense shrubbery with an abundance of trees and thickets. It nests inside holes in trees and its eggs are white and it usually lays between three and four of them. It is an endemic bird of Cuba and it is not found in any other part of the world.

Translated by the Staff of Círculo Güinero de Los Ángeles

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