Narina Trogon

Apaloderma narina

This long-tailed forest bird must be one of southern Africa’s most spectacular species. The male’s bright green body and crimson breast make it a “must see” for avid birders. Fortunately given its wide range; from Sierra Leone to Ethiopia and East Africa to South Africa, as well as its varied habitat choice, this beautiful species is considered to be of least conservation concern.

Its green colouration and quiet nature, however, makes it very difficult to spot in its forest or woodland habitat and thus, any sighting is considered a special one. In case you want something random to bring up at your next dinner party, the bird’s name is considered to be Khoikhoi in origin and Narina is thought to be the named after French ornithologist, François Le Vaillant’s mistress. There you have it!

We first recorded this trogon in September 2010 while on the Shokwe Pan bush walk in Ndumo Game Reserve. If you dont want to travel that far north, Umdoni Forest on the south coast of KwaZulu Natal has also treated me to a few good sightings.


Narina Trogon / Umdoni Forest, South Africa / 21 December 2013 Narina Trogan / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal / 21 March 2014 (Edited – lens blur to background) Narina Trogan / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal / 21 March 2014 (Edited) Narina Trogon / Hluhluwe Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / April 2019 Narina Trogan / Lowland Forest, Coutada 11, Mozambique / 12 October 2015 Narina Trogan / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal / 21 March 2014 Narina Trogon / Hluhluwe Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / April 2019 Narina Trogon / Sand Forest Lodge, Hluhluwe, South Africa / January 2019 Narina Trogan / Dlinza Forest, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 21 March 2014 (Edited – lens blur to background) Narina Trogon / Ndumo Nature Reserve, South Africa / 18 September 2010 Narina Trogon – male / Umdoni Forest, South Africa Narina Trogan / Lowland Forest, Coutada 11, Mozambique / 12 October 2015 Narina Trogon – female / Umdoni Forest, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 14 May 2011
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