Tocororo. General information.
Class: Birds of Cuba
Tocororo (Priotelus temnurus). It is a climbing bird, endemic to Cuba, in genus and species.
In its colorful plumage, red, blue and white, the colors of the Cuban flag, are easily located, which is why it is considered the National Bird.
There are two slightly different forms, the one that lives on the Island of Cuba and adjacent keys (Priotelus temnurus temnurus), and the one that lives on the Isle of Youth (Priotelus temnurus vescus).
It belongs to the Trogodinae family of the Trogoniformes order. It is the only one on the island of this family, to which the Quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird, belongs.
It is called by the Cuban aborigines as guatiní, a name that continues to be given in some of the eastern provinces. In English it is known as the Cuban trogon.
Tocororo. National bird of Cuba.
The Tocororo is selected as the National Bird of Cuba for two reasons: its splendid plumage of bright colors and its resistance to captivity.
It is considered the most beautiful bird in the country since part of its green plumage recalls the Cuban fields; its chest of white feathers, its belly with red plumage and the blue feathers on its head reproduce the colors of the national flag.
The male Tocororo measures about 28 cm in length, the wingspan is between 39 and 39.5 cm.
The tail measures approximately 14.3 – 14.8 cm, while its companion is half a centimeter longer than it.
Also the tail and wingspan of females are several millimeters larger. Apart from this, the couple does not present sexual dimorphism.
They also alternate in the tasks of incubating the eggs and then feeding the newborns.
It is not characterized by its great mobility and usually rests for a long time with its neck shrunken.
It remains thus as if ecstatic before the landscape, and only leaves that position to procure food.
At that time, his movements are fast and precise, albeit at a very close range.
We see it easily in dense forests with tall trees of various species, such as soplillo, almácigo and yagruma. It is a peaceful bird, which allows us to approach it without running away.
It nests from April to July in the holes of recently abandoned woodpeckers. The female lays 3 or 4 eggs. Both sexes incubate and feed their young.
It has inhabited the fields for thousands of years and is mainly located in the Sierra de los Órganos, Ciénaga de Zapata, the Escambray, mountainous complex of the Sierra Maestra, and Isla de la Juventud.
It has rarely been bred in captivity, its freedom is vital to its survival.
It prefers forests of all kinds, and also pine forests. The eastern mountains must house thousands of tocororo.
In the Ciénaga de Zapata and in the Pinar del Río mountain ranges, in the center and west of the country, he can also be heard by hundreds, launching his “to-co-ro-ro, to-co-ro-ro” into the ether. .
Feeding of the tocororo.
It feeds on insects, fruits and flowers that it takes on the fly.
Protection of the tocororo.
As a species of wildlife, the hunting or capture of the Tocororo is not allowed according to Resolution No. 81 of 1982, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and there is a legal instrument to sanction the enemies of the Tocororo.
This is Decree-Law 200, dated December 22, 1999, which establishes Contraventions in matters of the Environment.