Who are they? Quetzals are considered one of the world’s most beautiful birds and the Guatemalan currency is named after them. They are also beautiful and exotic birds known for their bright colors and long tails.
Color: The male is unmistakable. Its feathers are from a vibrant green with its distinctive long tail feathers. There is also their scarlet belly and the white lower tail surface. Female on the other hand has darker green fathers and a red belly,
Food: Quetzals are specialized fruit-eaters, but can also be called omnivorous because they also like to mix their diet with insects and small frogs.
Growth: Males can be a meter long and can weigh up to half pound because of their tales. The body itself measures only 38 to 40.5 cm, the tail on the other hand can be 61 cm.
Age: Quetzal can’t live in captivity, that’s why no one knows how long they live.
Habits: Quetzals like to spend their days sitting on the forest canopy feeding themselves. Generally they live groups of 4 or 6 individuals or in couples.
Kids: Females can only have two eggs at once, these eggs are blue and measure around 3 centimeters. The male and female quetzals take turns incubating the eggs. The time it takes the young to come out of the shell is 17 to 18 days. Young quetzals can fly at about three weeks of age, but males do not begin to grow their long tail plumes for three years.
Mating: During mating season, male quetzals grow twin tail feathers that can grow up to one meter long. Females do not have long tails, but they do share the brilliant green and red coloring of their mates. The reproductive time is between March and June.
Importance: These beautiful exotic birds because of all the illegal hunting and the destruction of their habitat are in the list of to be extinct animals unless things change. There are six different kinds of Quetzals and they are all endangered.
Quick Fact: A Guatemalan legend says that when the Spaniards came there was an epic fight between them and the Quiches (ancient town of Mayan natives), once it was over many quetzals landed on dead Mayan’s bodies. By doing so they got stained in their blood and that’s where they got their red chests from.
Where can they be found? Quetzals can’t live outside of a tropical forest. They can be found in small areas from Chiapas, Mexico to Panama.