The Resplendent Quetzal

 

 An Introduction to the Birds in Guatemala

How Many Birds are in Guatemala?

Guatemala is a member of the 20 most biodiverse countries in the world. The set of species found here makes an interesting collage of species more related to North American avifauna but with a representation of m the South American continent.

From the first ornithologists that visited the country in the 19th century to the year 2020, we have recorded evidence of 766 species which are distributed in 83 families and 427 genera.

We divide them into these categories:

  • 508 breeding residents.
  • 140 winter residents.
  • 38 transient.
  • 22 pelagic.
  • 44 accidental.
  • 6 introduced.
  • 4 summer residents.
  • 3 extirpated.
  • 1 extinct.

Also, around forty species can only be found in Central America. Therefore, Guatemala is the perfect place to watch the better populations.

The country  has a solid cultural background. Therefore, it is possible to live experiences with more than 20 different Mayan cultures in a 400-mile journey through the countryside, complementing the natural experience.

Why is the Quetzal important to Guatemala?

The Resplendent Quetzal is known as one of the most beautiful bird species in the world and an important part of of Guatemalan culture from pre-Hispanic times to the present day; hence its protagonism in historical narratives, literary compositions, in the civility ,  handicrafts, and in various cultural expressions of the country. Also, the currency bears the name of Quetzal.

Due to its importance with Decree No. 33 of November 18, 1871, the Quetzal, the country’s national symbol, was declared the National Bird of Guatemala.

The Resplendent Quetzal

The Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) adult measures 38 to 40.5 cm, not including the covert feathers of its tail. The plumage is much more intense and colorful in the male than in the female; in both, it is bluish-green or emerald green.

A Bird With a Beautiful Tail

Unlike the female, the feathers that cover the tail in the adult male can measure from 70 centimeters to more than a meter long. These do not make up its true tail but correspond to the tail feathers.

In the adult male, the head feathers form a rounded crest. The wing plumage curves inward, hugging the chest when the bird is perched.

Its chest and abdomen are scarlet red. Feathers of the lower part of the tail are white, and the upper ones are green and the coverts.

It has a yellow-orange beak, and its eyes are dark brown. Its legs are olive-colored, and its toes are dark orange-brown, with two toes forward and two toes back, which help it stay upright.

Young males are distinguished by the crown of feathers on the crest, and their feathers are slightly less bright, and they do not have a tail cover. They are similar to females, differing by the color of the chest as they reach maturity and by the crest.

The female Quetzal is not as splendid as her partner. She has a darker brown plumage, which helps her blend in with her environment and thus take care of the nest without attracting the attention of predators.

It has a bright bronze-green head and no crest. The covert feathers of the wing, back, and tail are golden green, as in the adult male; the longest feather that covers its tail does not reach beyond the tail tip of its body.

It has a gray chin and throat, its chest is olive-brown, its abdomen is red, its beak is yellow-orange, and its legs are green-brown.

 

How Many Bird Species Are During The Winter?

During the winter , there are 508 breeding residents.

Photo Gallery of The Hummingbirds of Guatemala – Click Here

Guatemala Map
Quetzal Bird
Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent-Quetzal-Female

Birding Tours Guatemala

Customizing target birding packages, photography expeditions, or a combination of birdwatching and cultural holidays.

Pink-headed-Warbler

Guatemala Mountains & Rainforest

12 Days Tour Package

This tour is a mixture of the best birdwatching destinations, including locations to appreciate endemic bird species within the mountains and rainforest.

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Endemics of The Highlands

9 Days Tour Package

This tour is a mixture of the best birdwatching destinations, including locations to appreciate endemic bird species within the mountains and rainforest.

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Highlands & Tikal

9 Days Tour Package

This birding tour in Guatemala, will take you through the main destinations in the highlands. Then we will take a short flight to the lowlands  to enjoy the natural world of Tikal.

Have Any Questions?

Do not hesitate to give us a call. We are happy to talk to you.
 

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GT: (502) 7832 2742

Guatemala Birding Tours | Birds in Guatemala

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