Pharomachrus mocinno de la Lave, 1832, Guatemala and Chiapas. Two subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Coasta Rican quetzal, northern quetzal, magnificent quetzal; French: Quetzal resplendissant; German: Quetzal; Spanish: Quetzal Guatemalteco, Quetzal Centroamericano.
14.2–15.7 in (36–40 cm), with 25.6–in (65 cm) tail-streamers, 6.2–7.3 oz (180–210 g). Head, chest upperparts, and elongate greater coverts brilliant gold-green iridescing to bluish, flight feathers blackish, lower breast and undertail-coverts red, undertail white, yellow bill. Filamentous feathers give head bristling appearance.
Discontinuous through Central America, from southern Mexico to western Panama.
Cloud forests, forest edges.
Territorial. Males engage in flight displays during breeding season.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Sally-gleans fruit, insects, small reptiles and amphibians. Primarily frugivorous.
Breeds March through June over range; nests in deep cavity in decaying tree stumps often high above ground; lays one to two eggs, incubates 17–19 days, fledges in 23–31 days. High chick mortality.
IUCN Near Threatened species. Threatened locally by poaching and habitat disturbance.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Revered by Maya and Aztecs of Central America; plumes used for decoration well into the twentieth century; very popular birdwatching target.
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