Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Quetzal culture

Considered by some as the most beautiful bird on Earth, the Resplendant Quetzal is a denizen of highlands forest from southern Mexico to western Panama.  In our country... specifically at the Chiriquí highlands, this bird is well-known and much easier to see than in most parts of its wide range.  There, the image of the long tailed male (although is not its tail after all... more on that later) is a common sight in signs, logos, murals, and so on...
Like this painting in the bathroom wall of a little restaurant at the entrance of La Amistad International Park (above Las Nubes town), or the stone sculptures in the grounds of Los Quetzales Lodge in the town of Guadalupe, representing a couple feeding by hand some quetzals.
But more important... you can actually see them!  March is probably the best month to see flying males in the right habitat (as we did this year).  This splendid male was in an Aguacatillo tree (a preferred fruit) at Los Quetzales cabins, inside La Amistad International Park.  The bright, metallic green is hard to describe, but the contrasting underparts and tail is sublime.
 However, the Resplendant Quetzal is worldwide known by the extremely elongated supracaudal (above the tail) feathers.
Any day with quetzals is a good day!

No comments:

Post a Comment