“This famous bird has a long history, as it was the spiritual protector of the Mayan chiefs. It is said that the Quetzal would accompany them everywhere, aiding them in battle, and dying when they died. Legend has it that when Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado and his Spaniards attacked the Mayans in 1524, the Quetzal appeared crying out and pecking at Alvarado.

At the exact moment when Alvarado pierced Tecum Uman [the chief], the sacred Quetzal fell silent and plummeted to earth, covering the body of the regal [Mayan] with its long and soft green plumes. After keeping a deathwatch through the night, the bird that rose from the cacique’s [chieftan’s] lifeless body was transformed. It was no longer the pure green of jade. Its breast had soaked up the blood of the fallen warrior, and so, too, became crimson, the shade of Mayan blood, as it has remained to this day (Maslow, p.19).

The Mayans proved just as unlucky as their chief; 30,000 of them succumbed to the superior firepower of the Spaniards. The Spanish had horses whereas the Mayans were on foot. Therefore, the Spaniards could easily chase down the Mayans, and without any guns the Mayans did not stand a chance. Their population was decimated. Alvaredo would become known as the founder of Guatemala. But the legend of the defeat of Tecum Uman and the sacrifice of the Quetzal at Quetzaltenango (place of the Quetzal) would not be forgotten.”

TED Case Studies
The Resplendent Quetzal


“This is QuetzalCam 2003 #3.
The chick get out before its time… a weasel gets in the nest (one of the lasts pictures), the chick could fly out there but needed more practice… we’ve rescued it and track it since 8:00am to 3:30pm (the hour that we’ve lost it). The mom was feeding it all this time and we hope it’s growing well out there in the wild forest.”

QuetzalCam @ Cloudforestalive.org


Guatemala Quetzales

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