Quetzal in Panama

Quetzal in Panama

Quetzals are beautifully colored birds of the trogon Trogonidae family. With a green tail as long as one meter (female's usually have shorter tails). The Quetzal was considered divine, associated with the "snake god," Quetzalcoatl by early Central American civilizations. Although "quetzal" is used to name all the species of the genus Pharomachrus, the word alone is often used for one particular species, the Resplendent Quetzal, Pharomachrus mocinno.

Quetzals, and other members of the trogon family, live and breed in tree holes where insects live. Their diet consists mainly of these insects, larvae, some small amphibians, berries, and avocados.

When breeding, the female quetzal lays one or two light blue eggs which both parents take turns at incubating. The male incubates the eggs during the day while the female incubates them at night. When the eggs hatch, both parents care for feeding the young. The female often abandons the young near the end of the rearing, leaving the male to care for the offspring until they are able to survive on their own.

Adult quetzals live by themselves, except during the breeding season. They are poor flyers in spite of their colorful plumage. Common predators include the Ornate Hawk Eagle, owls, and kinkajou. Quetzals with their long tails have been featured in books, paintings, national currencies, and stamps.

The quetzal can be found in the cloud forests on the slopes of Baru Volcan. Access is from the towns of Boquete and Volcan, some 500 kilometers from Panama City.

Trogons and Quetzals in Wikipedia


Panama Fauna