Golden-headed quetzal

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Golden-headed quetzal
Golden-headed Quetzal.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Trogoniformes
Family: Trogonidae
Genus: Pharomachrus
Species: P. auriceps
Binomial name
Pharomachrus auriceps
(Gould, 1842)

The golden-headed quetzal (Pharomachrus auriceps) is a colorful bird native to highlands forests in South America.


Pharomachrus auriceps, Golden-headed Quetzal.jpg

Males and females are approximately the same size, having a total length of ca. 35 cm and a weight of 160 g. as adults. Adult males are iridescent green with a golden cast to their heads, black wings, bright red bellies, and a yellow bill. The female is duller with a greyer head and lower chest and a dusky bill. Both sexes have an entirely blackish undertail unlike the crested quetzal.

Habitat and behavior[edit]

Golden-headed quetzals occur in the Andes of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. They live in humid highland forests and are uncommon to locally fairly common. They are solitary, seasonally monogamous birds which share the 18-day incubation period of their two eggs and the feeding of their offspring during the fledging period of 25 to 30 days. The nest is usually placed in a hollow in an old tree. Their diet mostly consists of fruit and insects, with the occasional small lizard.


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