The Hispaniolan Trogon (Priotelus roseigaster) is a species of bird in the Trogonidae family. It is the national bird of Haiti. It is found on the island of Hispaniola shared by Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests and what is now heavily degraded forest. It is threatened by habitat loss. It has been sighted in the upper altitudes in the forests of Haiti’s mountain ranges and is confined to several areas in the country’s protected areas.
The Hispaniolan Trogon, is the only member of the trogon family that occurs on the island of Hispaniola. This also is one of only two trogons found in the Caribbean. The Cuban Trogon (Priotelus temnurus) is the only other member of the genus Priotelus which is confined to the Greater Antilles. The Hispaniolan Trogon is unlike any other species known to occur on Hispaniola with it’s metallic green upperparts, gray breast, red belly and dark blue tail strongly marked with white.
This species occurs from sea level to the highest peaks, although it only rarely occurs at lower elevations. The introductory paragraph of the account of the Hispaniolan Trogon by Whetmore and Swales (1931) provides a good description of an encounter with this strikingly beautiful bird: “In travel along the wilder trails through the hills of Hispaniola there may come to the ear a curious cooing call suggesting the note of a pigeon but at the same time differing from the sound produced by any of the familiar species of that group. The call is ventriloquial and seems to arise first from one side and then from another. Finally there is a glimpse of a bird in black silhouette, resting in shadow on some open limb, with body erect and tail hanging straight down. No color is visible and it is a pleasurable surprise when one of the birds pitches to a lower perch or is brought into closer view by the aid of binoculars and the colors of the plumage flash out brilliantly, the clear red of the abdomen sharply marked from the gray of the breast, and the back a shimmering green.”