For other uses, see Quetzal (disambiguation).
For the best-known species in this group, see Resplendent Quetzal.
Quetzals (/kɛtsˈɑːl/ or /ˈkɛtsəl/) are strikingly colored birds in the trogon family. They are found in forests and woodlands, especially in humid highlands, with the five species from the genus Pharomachrus being exclusively Neotropical, while the single Euptilotis species is almost entirely restricted to western Mexico also in Baja Verapaz, Guatemala. They are fairly large (all over 32 cm or 13 inches long), slightly bigger than other trogon species. Quetzals have iridescent green or golden-green wing coverts, back, chest and head, with a red belly. They are strongly sexually dimorphic, and parts of the females' plumage are brown or grey. These largely solitary birds feed on fruits, berries, insects and small vertebrates (such as frogs). Despite their bright plumage, they can be surprisingly difficult to see in their wooded habitats.
1 Conservation status,
4 See also,
6 External links,
None of the quetzal species are under immediate threat in the wild, although the Resplendent Quetzal is at Near Threatened status.
The name "quetzal" is from Nahuatl quetzalli keˈt͡salːi, "large brilliant tail feather" (American Audubon Dictionary) or "tail coverts of the quetzal" (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary), from the Nahuatl root quetz = "stand up" used to refer to an upstanding plume of feathers.
The word "quetzal" was originally used for just the Resplendent Quetzal, the famous long-tailed quetzal of southern Mexico and Central America, which is the national bird and the name of the currency of Guatemala. It still often refers to that bird specifically but now also names all the species of the genera Pharomachrus and Euptilotis.
Pharomachrus is from Ancient Greek pharos, "mantle", and makros, "long", referring to the wing and tail coverts of the Resplendent Quetzal (the second h is unexplained).
Crested Quetzal, Pharomachrus antisianus.,
Golden-headed Quetzal, Pharomachrus auriceps.,
White-tipped Quetzal, Pharomachrus fulgidus.,
Resplendent Quetzal, Pharomachrus mocinno.,
Pavonine Quetzal, Pharomachrus pavoninus.,
Eared Quetzal, Euptilotis neoxenus.,
Euptilotis neoxenus is related to Pharomachrus and is called the Eared Quetzal by some authorities, such as the American Ornithologists' Union, but the Eared Trogon by others.