Today we will meet one of the most beautiful birds in the world, in addition to being framed in a historical context rich in culture, I am talking about the Ave Quetzal. Come with me to learn more about the history and main characteristics of one of the most beautiful birds of the animal kingdom.
The bird is known by the name of Quetzal which means Precious or beautiful sengun the Nahuatl language, while its scientific name does not sound so pleasant, Pharomachrus mocinno a bird belonging to the family Trogonidae. This exotic bird is full of stories, for example, it is said that the Spanish invader Hernán Cortés when he arrived to Mexican lands was given to him and touched with Quetzal feathers, Cortés considered it so beautiful because of its plumage that I consider it more valuable than gold.
For the Mayan culture as well as for the Aztecs they considered this bird as a sacred living symbol, only the high hierarchical positions of these civilizations were allowed to have garments with feathers of this beautiful bird, its cultural meaning was linked to fertility, life and abundance. Although the aborigines captured the Quetzal birds, it did not represent a threat since the birds let them free and had specialized techniques for extracting feathers and freeing the birds without hurting them.
The contrast with time is that today the Quetzal bird is in danger of extinction, although the bird is considered an icon in all of Central America including it as the national bird of Guatemala and the local currency bears the name of the bird continues to be violated by its indolent hunting to market it in the clandestine market of exotic birds.
Its habitat extends between Mexico and Panama, Guatemala being the country where this is the most important reserve, this habitat is comprised of tropical rainforests and primary forests, where fog abounds and with a maximum annual temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, can be found at altitudes ranging from 1,200 metres above sea level to 3,000 metres above sea level, it is rare for the bird to travel long distances while having food supplies where it is, but if it cannot find food it can move without any problem within a perimeter of up to 40 kilometres where there is a place with enough food.
Among its main characteristics we have that its plumage is what most calls the attention of this bird, its jade green color with eyes that can vary in colors that can be blue, red or violet, its chest is reddish while the tail has many white feathers. In adulthood, males develop two distinctive green feathers that are up to 60 centimeters long. They also have a not so large bristly crest, and between males and females what varies is the color of the bill being black in females and yellow in males.
In the size we can find that they have a maximum of 41 centimeters without counting the tail, and a weight of around 240 grams, their legs are very short, you have four fingers two backwards and the rest forward, has the purpose of being able to hold firmly to the branches. Usually lose some feathers that are later recovered, this due to its food activity that is dedicated to the extraction of fruits from different trees. In wild state the Quetzal can live up to 10 years.
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