As the name indicates, the resplendent quetzal is one of the most spectacular birds in the world. The quetzal’s tail feathers (which only the males grow) were worn in the head dresses of Mayan and Aztec kings. The quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala and is featured on all of the country’s paper money which happens to be called (you guessed it) the quetzal. Sadly, this bird lives only in the ever-diminishing cloud forests of Central America and is no longer readily sighted as their habitat dwindles. At the Chelemhá Cloud Forest Lodge, way up in the mountains of the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala, we headed out on an early morning hike to see a hole in a dead tree stump that was home to a nesting pair of quetzals. After just a few minutes this gorgeous male popped out of the hole and landed on a nearby branch where he graciously posed for us.
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Great shot! It is perfect.
Wow!! really wonderful.
What an incredible photo of this beautiful bird. You were lucky to see one.
In Costa Rica some years ago I met some birdwatchers from England who were on a birdwatching trip. We saw a Quetzal clinging onto the trunk of a tree, so everyone was happy.
I remember them saying that Quetzals had not been seen in Guatemala for a long time and that that was sad because they were the national bird (and even the name of the currency, as you say) – so to hear now that you have seen on in Guatemala has made me feel very cheerful.
While rare, they do exist. The problem is the ever diminishing size of the cloud forest where they live, but they are still there.
What a brilliant shot. Well done for getting it. I can never take good pictures of birds as the don’t sit there long enough.
Oh wow, she’s beautiful! Those colours are sensational
Thanks…but it’s a he not a she. Only the males grow the tail.
Cool looking bird!
Cute! I was looking for this bird when we were in Mayan ruin Copan in Honduras (close to the border to Guatemala), but they don’t exist there anymore.
Yeah, we were just at Copan a few days ago, no quetzals there. Not sure they ever existed there as they live in the cloud forests above 5,000 feet.
I’ve always wanted to see one! I always thought their tails were longer though. Thanks for sharing! :)
The tails do vary in length, and this guys is far from the longest we saw…he just posed the best.
Wow – nice picture. I’ve been to Guatemala a dozen times and have never seen one. All I’ve got are stories of walking around and looking for them.
Stay at Ranch de Quetzal just outside the Biotope de Quetzal in Alta Verapaz. nearly guaranteed seeing them from March-June.
That’s awesome that you got to see it! And even bigger kudos for capturing a snapshot.
I was lucky enough to see one in Costa Rica a few years ago, but certainly not that close…
I’ve been trying to capture one of these buggers for about 7 years… great great capture. Stumble liked!
This quetzal looks like one proud bird – :))
Wow, that is great and awesome bird! I love the color of it’s wings. Great shot, I appreciate it because you shot it very well.