Beautiful Narina

A Narina trogon on the forest floor looking for take outs.

The more commonly seen back view.

The name Narina trogon may easily be that of the new neighbour that comes from some exotic destination. However, if you are familiar with southern African birds, then it is the name of one of the most brightly-coloured and beautiful forest birds that occur over much of sub-Saharan Africa and along South Africa’s eastern provinces including Limpopo. Its scientific name is Apaloderma narina and it has a romantic connection. It is believed that Narina was the name of the mistress of French ornithologist François Levaillant who collected birds in southern Africa in the 1780’s.
Although a common resident in parts of Mountainlands, a Narina trogon can be difficult to spot as it normally perches with its back turned to any potential threat. The back is coloured in shades of emerald to metallic dark green which means a bird blends well into the thickets and forest canopies. It will perch scanning the trees and ground for insects, other invertebrates and lizards and occasionally take off to catch prey mid-air or dive to the ground to peck it out.
On Mountainlands it is found in forests and riverine thickets and a fair amount of waiting and patience will result in a full frontal view of its splendid emerald green and pinkish red colours.

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