Bird of the week – Resplendent Quetzal

Because of a severe cold and wrapping things up for my final days at work, I haven’t been able to post a bird of the week. I’ll make it up to you by introducing the Resplendent Quetzal (scientific name:Pharomachrus mocinno).

This bird shows its beauty in the wilderness of Central America. Its common name is derived from the word ‘quetzalli’ in the indigenous language Nahuatl and means something like ‘large brilliant tail feather’ and ‘upstanding plumage’. The scientific name is derived from Greek and means ‘large mantle’, referring to its crazy long tail. Its tail is definitely an eye catcher! To get an idea: The bird’s body is about 40 cm in length, whereas the tail can be 65 cm long! I also find that its upstanding crest feathers gives this bird a unique look. The downside though of all its beauty is that it is a weak flier. Just saying, the best part of being a bird is the ability to fly of course 😉 Now I know there are many other birds who can’t even fly, so at least the quetzal beats them at that!

Unlike most of my previous birds of the week, Quetzals usually live alone except when the breeding season arrives. The nest is made by nibbling a hole in rotting trees. During this season, male and female incubate their eggs together. Sometimes the female gets tired of breeding, leaving the male to take care of its offspring. Good thing those babies have a mother and father!

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