Resplendent Quetzal Facts and Information
Introduction to Quetzal
The Resplendent Quetzal is a beautiful bird that features red and green colors. It has a very long tail and it may have red on the breast area. There are two subspecies so the actual colors may vary depending on which of them you are looking at. It is the Guatemala National bird. It is also believed to be one with great powers according to many legends spanning various cultures.
|Conservation status||Near Threatened|
Resplendent Quetzal Description
This is a small sized bird with an overall size from 14 to16 incheslong. However, the tail is about 24 inches long, and weighs about7 ounces. They have very thick feathers to protect their thin skin underneath. They have large eyes and the Resplendent Quetzal can easily adapt to the dimness in their surroundings. Males and females use their beaks primarily for nesting and gnawing.
Resplendent Quetzal Distribution
Panama and the Southern area of Mexico are home to the Resplendent Quetzal. They tend to live deep in the forests and the cover of the trees helps them to remain well protected. They tend to live in tropical regions that offer them warm temperatures all year long.
Resplendent Quetzal Behavior
The Resplendent Quetzal isn’t very strong in terms of flying. They rely on plenty of trees around where they can rest. They only fly short distances at a time in order to find food and shelter. They tend to live alone and be very protective of their territory. The only time they pair up is for mating and caring for the young.
This is one bird that is very quiet. There are legends in the Mayan culture that the bird used to sing lovely songs but not it is quiet. They believe it will remain that way until their land is completely free again.
Resplendent Quetzal Feeding
They consume a great deal of different insects that are found in their environment. They also consume small frogs, lizards and larvaes. Fruit is a big part of the diet for the Resplendent Quetzal but a great deal of it is seasonal. They tend to remember what types of fruit they can get from a given area though at a certain time of the year.
Resplendent Quetzal Reproduction
Mating occurs from April through June. The males will offer displays and dances to get the attention of a female. If she is interested she will mirror his movements until they have a synchronized dance in place. They will mate for life so they are very selective about choosing a mate.
After mating the female can offer up to 2 pale blue eggs in her nest. She will created one along with the help of her mate in an old tree that has started to rot. The couple will take turns incubating the eggs for about 18 days. Usually the male will be with them during the day and the female with them for the night.
In the beginning both parents will care for the young and bring them food. However, the female abandons the young near the end of the rearing period, leaving it up to the male to caring for the offspring. The male though will continue to bring them food for a few more weeks. Then the young have to be ready to care for their own needs.
Resplendent Quetzal Conservation
Loss of habitat is a big problem for the Resplendent Quetzal. Today they are classified as near threatened. The fact that so many dead trees are often cleared out of the forests creates a problem. The lack of them may prevent pairs from mating as they don’t have the right environment for placing their nest.