Home - Guide - Resplendent Quetzal


    The Resplendent Quetzal is mostly found in Central
    America, in countries such as Honduras, Costa Rica, El
    Salvador, Panama and Guatemala.


    The Resplendent Quetzal is omnivorous.  Their favorite
    foods are fruits that are associated with the avocado
    family (see picture at right).  They will also dine on
    insects and small vertebrates such as lizards and


    Resplendent Quetzals live in the cloud forests of Central
    America.  Cloud forests are defined as tropical or
    subtropical forests, often located in higher altitudes, that
    have a large amount of cloud cover or low, settling fog.   

Size and Description

    The Resplendent Quetzal is roughly 14 - 16 inches in
    length.  Its long train of tail feathers adds an additional 24
    - 25 inches.  The Quetzal is a beautiful bird characterized
    by the aquamarine feathers on its head and body.  In
    stark contrast to these feathers is the bright red plumage
    that is found on its breast.  The male is more colorful
    than the female so that it will be able to attract the
    attention of the females.  Females are less colorful and
    do not have a long train of tail feathers.  This helps the
    female to be less conspicuous and hide from predators.  
    On the Resplendent Quetzal's head is a small crest of
    spiked yellow and green feathers.  The eyes are black,
    and the beaks of males are yellow, while the beaks of
    females are black.

    Resplendent Quetzals will usually carve out a nest in a
    rotten tree, using their beaks to cut out the rotten wood.  
    Here, the female will lay two or three eggs in a given
    clutch.  Both male and female will share responsibility in
    building the nest as well as incubating the eggs.  The
    incubation period lasts two - three weeks.  

Additional Notes

    The main threat to the Resplendent Quetzal is
    degradation of its habitat by human activity.  These
    activities include farming and capturing the bird for
    commercial practices.
Resplendent Quetzal
(Pharomachrus mocinno)
Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Arthropoda
Class:   Insecta
Order:   Lepidoptera
Family:   Papilionidae
Genus:   Ornithoptera
Species:    alexandrae
IUCN Status:
Near Threatened
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The Quetzal Education Research
About QERC
The Quetzal Education
Research Center is located in
San Gerardo de Dota, Costa
Rica, and is operated by the
Biology Department of
Southern Nazarene University
in Bethany, OK.  The goal of
the center is to promote
biodiversity, conservation and
sustainability in communities
near the Quetzal's habitat.  To
find out more about the
Quetzal Education Research
Center, or QERC, please click
on the link below:

Quetzal Education Research
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