Blogging Through the Alphabet ~ “Q” for Quetzal #abcblogging

 photo QuetzalCollage_zps46b82d94.jpg

Joining up with Marcy over at Ben & Me for “Blogging through the Alphabet”.

Since our family has a general love and appreciation for all the animals the Lord has created…I am going to attempt to “Blog through the Alphabet” using animals. Here is what we have done so far:

A for Alpaca   B for Bearded Dragon   C for Crocodile   D for Donkey  E for Elephant Shrew   F for Fennec Fox   G for Grey Mouse Lemur   H for Howler Monkey   I for Indian Palm Squirrel  J is for Jellyfish  K is for Koala   L is for Lionfish   M is for Monitor Lizard  N is for Nurse Shark   O for Octopus  {skipped P}

And now…”Q” for Quetzal…

They are most well known for the long tail feathers of the males.

It is a medium sized bird.

They are members of the Trogon family which is the Greek word for “gnawing”, which is a distinctive trait to these birds.

The Quetzal is an immensely colored animal considered to be one of the most strikingly-beautiful birds in the world.

Normally found in the moist, tropical rain forests of Central America from southern Mexico down to Panama.

The males display a bright metallic green or blue on most of their bodies with deep red of the chest and belly. The male Quetzal also has a distinctive tuft of golden green feathers that form a crest on top of their heads and immensely long twin tail feathers that can grow up to three feet in length. These tail feathers do not start growing until it is mature (between three and six years of age). The long, bright tail feathers of the males were also used in garments worn by royalty in particular.

Females do not grow such an impressively long train but are of a similar coloration to their male counterparts with their plumage not being quite as bright. The deep red of the chest is often much duller or even grey (as is the metallic green) and they have grey or bronze colored heads edged with green.

The feet of the Quetzal are unique with two toes facing forward and two back on each foot that aid with perching high in the trees.

They live in holes in the trees close to the top of the canopy that they have either built themselves using their powerful beaks, or ones that have been abandoned by Woodpeckers.

The Quetzal perches high up in the tree canopy where their calls are nearly as distinctive as their appearance. They make soft, deep noises that can be very loud and they are known to use different calls depending on the situation. They are most vocal when there is plenty of mist at dawn and dusk and rarely call during very sunny or windy days.

They are a relatively inactive bird and are rarely seen on the forest floor as the design of their feet makes them very weak for walking on.

They are an omnivorous animal that will swoop down and catch its prey which will be eaten while still in the air. They have a predominantly fruit-based diet and particularly favor small avocado-like fruits. When fruits are scarce, they will eat small animals including insects, lizards, frogs, snails and larvae.

The female will lay between one and three eggs which are sat on by both the female and the male alternately. Incubation lasts for up to three weeks. When the chicks hatch they are born with their eyes closed and are fed by their parents until they are strong enough to begin moving. They can usually fly by the time they are three weeks old and once they are confident enough, they will flee the nest to find a territory of their own (although are known to remain close to their father for their first few years).

I hope you have learned some fun things about the Quetzal! Come back next week to see what interesting facts we discuss about an animal that starts with the letter R!

Ben and Me

Here’s praying we all have fun learning!

 

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One thought on “Blogging Through the Alphabet ~ “Q” for Quetzal #abcblogging

  1. Erica B August 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm Reply

    This is very cool – I had never heard of this bird before!

    Like

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