The Threatened Americas

The Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)

The Resplendent Quetzal Video

The Resplendent Quetzal

How should I describe the Resplendent Quetzal?

Latin Name: Pharomachrus Moccino


Males: Wings: 189-206 mm
Tail: 179.5-195.5 mm
Female: Wings: 193-208 mm
Tail: 184-216 mm


  • The Resplendent Quetzal is considered as one of the world's most beautiful birds


  • It lives in the canopy and the sub-canopy of the undisturbed, humid, cloud-forests, rain forests evergreen mountain forests, thickly vegetated places or places that are similar to forests
  • The Resplendent Quetzal eats fruits, insects, small frogs, lizards, and snails
  • It makes its nest in decaying tree trunks or stumps
  • The Resplendent Quetzals have really long tails, which makes them different from other birds

Photo Credit:

Foil, Carol. "Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)." Flickr. Flickr, 17 Nov 2009. Web. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <>.

Some Information about the Resplendent Quetzal

Where is it in the Food Chain?

What the Resplendent Quetzal eats:
  • The Resplendent Quetzals eats fruits
  • It also eats insects and lizards
  • They catch insects and lizards for their young

The Resplendent Quetzal's Predators are:
  • The Long-tailed weasel, squirrels, and Emerald Toucanets predate their nests
  • Sometimes the hawk and the margay predate their nests
  • The Resplendent Quetzals' predators are the red-bellied squirrels, the kinkajou, the Ornate Hawk-Eagle, and other hawks and owls (NBLH)

Photo Credits:

Vassen, Frank. N.p., n. d. Web. 21 Apr 2013. <>.

How has the Resplendent Quetzal adapted to its surroundings?

  • Since it lives in the forest, it uses the nests that are abandoned by a woodpecker
  • It lives near fruit trees and sally for fruit
  • Because of its digestive system is different from other birds, they eat fruits that has one pit in the middle of the fruit.
  • Since the Resplendent Quetzal has a bright underside, it sits motionless, covering its underside for a long time, that way it wouldn't be alerting its predators.
  • The Resplendent Quetzals take flight by dropping backwards from the branches.


Photo Credits:

de Jong-Latink, Martha. "Resplendent Quetzal (male) - Pharomachrus mocinno." Flickr. Flickr, 19 May 2012. Web. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <>.

Why is it endangered?

Why are they endangered?

  • The Resplendent Quetzal is endangered mostly because of deforestation
  • Endangered because of caged bird trade
  • The bright colors of the Resplendent Quetzal attracts market hunters, birders, ornithologists, collectors
  • When the scientists put them in captivity for breeding, they aren't able to live, since they don't live in captivity


Photo Credits:

(vincent desjardins), . "France, Pas-de-Calais : forêt de Vimy." Flickr. Flickr, 31 Dec 2012. Web. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <>.

What is being done to help?

What is being done right now:
  • Since Resplendent Quetzal is an important symbol of Central and South America, they have been building reserves in national parks to help them.

What you can do to help:

  • Protect the forest
  • Save paper (saving trees)
  • Don't capture them and trade them