Resplendent Quetzal and the Forest
The Resplendent quetzal (pronunciation: /ˈkɛtsəl/) (Pharomachrus mocinno) is arguably one of the most beautiful birds of the World.
It can be seen and photograph in Costa Rica all year long, but some months are better than others.
San Gerardo de Dota is the best region in Costa Rica to see and photograph the Quetzal in all its glory. October to January are good months for photography because the Quetzal is a lot more approachable, normally perching in trees on the side of the road.
The cloud forest mornings, the home of the Quetzal.
A male perched on an Aguacatillo tree, the Quetzal main food source.
Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) under the morning light.
When nesting, the Resplendent males will search for food, in this occasion a cricket was found for lunch.
Resplendent quetzals are considered specialized fruit-eaters, although they mix their diet with insects (notably wasps, ants, and larvae), frogs and lizards. Particularly important are wild avocados and other fruit of the laurel family, which the birds swallow whole before regurgitating the pits, which helps to disperse these trees.
The resplendent quetzal was considered divine, associated with the “snake god”, Quetzalcoatl by Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations. Its iridescent green tail feathers, symbols for spring plant growth, were venerated by the ancient Aztecs and Maya, who viewed the quetzal as the “god of the air” and as a symbol of goodness and light.
The iridescent green tail feathers, symbols for spring plant growth, were venerated by the ancient Aztecs and Maya.