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(Pharomachrus mocino)

Crested Quetzal Information

Quetzal Bird

The crested quetzal, not to be confused with the quetzales, the monetary unit of Guatemala, is a spectacular resident of humid montane forests on the east slope of the Bolivian Andes. Although the crested quetzal is brilliantly colored -- its red belly contrasts starkly with its metallic green upper parts and long streaming bold white undertail -- the bird is remarkably difficult to see. Like most trogons, the crested quetzal often remains motionless for long periods high in the tree tops. The quetzal feeds mainly on fruits and berries, plucked as the bird hovers. Occasionally, small vertebrates and insects are taken in a similar manner.

Little is known about these impressive birds, but they are threatened by continued destruction of their cloud forest habitat.  


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