Tocororo : Cuba’s national bird

Cuba’s national bird

Tocororo (Priotelus temnurus). It is a climbing bird, endemic to Cuba , in genus and species. In their colorful plumage, red, blue and white, the colors of the Cuban flag are easily located, so it is considered the National Bird. There are two slightly different forms, living on the island of Cuba and adjacent cays (P. temnurus temnurus), and living on the Island of Youth or Pines (P. temnurus vescus). Its scientific name is Priotelus Temnurus , of the order Trogoniformes and belongs to the family Trogodinae . It is the only one on the island of this family, to which belongs the Quetzal , national bird of Guatemala . It is called by the Cuban aborigines like Guatiní name that continues giving itself him in some of the Eastern provinces. In English it is known as Cuban trogon .

Cuba’s national bird
The Tocororo is selected as the National Bird of Cuba for two reasons: its splendid plumage of vivid colors and its resistance to captivity. It is considered the most beautiful bird of the country since part of its plumage in green remembers the Cuban fields; His white feathered chest, his red plumage belly and the blue feathers on his head reproduce the colors of the national flag .


Beauty and variety of colors characterize this species
The Tocororo male measures about 28 cm in length, the wingspan of its wings is between 39 and 39.5 cm. The tail measures approximately 14.3 – 14.8 cm, while his companion outstrips him in half a centimeter. Also the tail and the wingspan of the females are larger in several millimeters. Apart from this, the couple does not present sexual dimorphism. They alternate in the tasks of incubating the eggs and then feeding the newborns.

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It is not characterized by its great mobility and usually rests for a long time with its shrunken neck. She remains so ecstatic in the landscape, and only leaves that position to get food. At that moment, his movements are fast and precise, but at very short distance. We can easily see it in thick forests with tall trees of various species, such as the soplillo , the seedling and the yagruma . It is a peaceful bird, which allows us to approach it without fleeing.

It nests from April to July in the holes of recently abandoned carpenters. The female lays 3 or 4 eggs. Both sexes incubate and feed their chicks.

It inhabits the fields for thousands of years and is located mainly in the Sierra de los Organos , Ciénaga de Zapata , Escambray , mountainous complex of Sierra Maestra , and Isla de la Juventud. Rarely has he been raised in captivity, his freedom is vital to survival.

It prefers forests of all kinds, and also pine forests . The eastern mountains must house thousands of cormorants. In the Ciénaga de Zapata and in the Cordilleras of Pinar del Rio , in the center and west of the country, it can also be heard by hundreds, throwing into the ether its “to-co-ro-ro, to-co-ro- ro” .

It is nourished by insects, fruits and flowers that it takes to the flight.


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