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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pharomachrus auriceps
POPULATION: Unknown, but considered fairly common
HABITAT: Humid mountain and cloud forests of South America
A handful of spectacular species, found only in the Americas, are known as “quetzals.” All are part of the trogon family — colorful, fruit-eating tropical birds that include the better-known Resplendent Quetzal and Haiti’s national bird, Hispaniolan Trogon.
The name “quetzal” is from the Nahuatl (Aztec) quetzalli, meaning “large brilliant tail feather,” and Golden-headed Quetzal fits the bill perfectly. This beautifully plumed species has a distinctive golden-bronze head, iridescent green body and wings, and long wing and tail coverts.