Thursday, February 23, 2017

Animals in their Habitat: Elegant Trogons

'Habitat' includes of course the geologic base (soil and profile), the resulting plant society, climate and geographic location. But the animal neighbors are as important. They are part of the food chain as prey or predator and, usually most importantly, compete for the same resources or provide them, like food and nesting cavities. In this painting after my very first observation of Elegant Trogons in Madera Canyon (1994), I posed them and their neighbors in a thicket of Sycamore branches, Ferns and Columbine flowers. So I considerably shrunk the distance between canopy and forest floor in my imaginary world.

I think back then, Trogons, who reach the northernmost point of their distribution in SE Arizona, only migrated north for the breeding season. Trogons are primarily occupants of tropical forests, but as omnivores, they are somewhat adaptable. They glean the brush for insects and they love the berries of the Madrone tree, but they do not refuse those of introduced Pyracantha shrubs. In spring, the pair raises 2 to 4 chicks in a tree cavity, and Sycamores seem to provide the most desirable ones. Nowadays Elegant Trogons can be seen year round in SE Arizona's canyons and riparian areas.

No comments:

Post a Comment