Costa Rica is a bird lovers paradise. Despite its small size, more than 870 bird species can be spotted here due to the country’s wide variety of habitats.
One unique bird that calls Costa Rica home is the resplendent Quetzal.
Found only in Central America, the Quetzal was considered divine by the ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures who placed more value on the quetzal’s feathers than gold. The bird’s name comes from the Aztec word quetzalli which means “precious” and in the indigenous cultures, harming a Quetzal was a crime punishable by death.
Today, the Quetzal is sadly one of the world’s many exotic species in danger of becoming extinct, but thanks to our country’s dedication to preserving the bird’s cloud-forest habitat, Costa Rica is one of the best places in the world to see this unique bird.
A solitary bird, except during mating season, March to May is the best time to spot the Quetzal, as the males are more active as they look for their partners in these months.
The male is known for its beautiful long tail feathers which can be as long as 2 feet, nearly twice the length of its body. With a diet composed of fruit, frogs and insects, the Quetzal can usually be spotted near an avocado tree as that is its food of choice.
A symbol of freedom throughout Central America, the Quetzal is known to be resistant to captivity. It is said that if caged, the bird will commit suicide rather than live imprisoned.
Birdwatching is one of many reasons to visit beautiful Costa Rica. For more information, please visit our website www.4tulemar.com.