Resplendent QuetzalPhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Mesoamerican mythology

The resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) is a bird in the trogon family. It lives from Chiapas, Mexico to Costa Rica and western Panama.

Because of its important role in Mesoamerican mythology, this bird is the national bird of Guatemala. Therefore, its image is found on the country’s flag and coat of arms. More than that, this bird lends its name to the country’s currency. For money, Guatemalans use the Guatemalan quetzal (abbreviation GTQ).

Resplendent quetzals have a green body (showing iridescence from green-gold to blue-violet) and a red breast. Their iridescent feathers, which causes them to appear shiny and green like the canopy leaves, are a camouflage adaptation to hide within the canopy during rainy weather.

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