Queenly Quetzals

There aren’t many animals that start with the letter Q, but all of them are pretty incredible. The options are quail, quokka (kwaa·kuh) , quoll (kwaal), and quetzal(kuht·saal, plural:kwet·zlz). To be honest it was a really hard decision. Quail is the one everyone thinks of first, so that one was out. Quolls are cool marsupials, but visually look too much like weasels with spots. So the decision was down to quetzals vs quokkas (which are a very cute species of wallaby). Both animals are amazing, but I ultimately decided to go with quetzals so I’d have an opportunity to show off it’s bright colors and to keep the amount of birds even with the other types of animals.

Quetzals are brightly colored birds from rain-forests and humid highlands in South and Central America. They eat fruits, berries, and insects. Quetzals disperse the seeds of the avocado by swallowing the pits whole and regurgitating the seeds! The name translates to “large brilliant tail feather” from the Nahuatl language. The males are known for these long tail feathers, which reach about 26 inches long. The birds themselves are 16 inches long. Dads do the daytime egg sitting, moms sit at night. Fathers lay their tail feathers out of the tree cavity to disguise the nest as a fern!


“Resplendent Quetzal.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Dec. 2018,
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resplendent_Quetzal. Accessed 7 Feb. 2019.

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