Walad Jamaludin’s images of a male Whitehead’s Trogon (Harpactes whiteheadi) were photographed in Mt Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia in early September 2009 (below).
The trogon was spotted when Walad heard the birds calling each other. He immediately stopped walking and carefully scanned the surroundings, to see one perching on a tree branch not far in front. This trogon is easily identified by its distinctive and conspicuous silvery-grey breast in both sexes.
Whitehead’s Trogon was first discovered by John Whitehead (1860-1899), a British explorer who collected in Borneo between 1885 and 1888. He may be the first European to reach the summit of the mountain.
The shy and elusive trogon is a montane forest resident, frequenting dark and wet areas. It can often be seen on a high branch of the low montane forest trees, seldom moving except to take short flights from perch to perch. At the Mt Kinabalu National Park it is fast becoming extremely difficult to see and Walad is fortunate to have seen and photographed the bird.
Very little is known of the bird.
Forshaw, J. M., 2009. Trogons – A natural history of the Trogonidae. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. 292 pp.
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