Glenn Bartley

Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)

Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) perched on a branch in Costa Rica. Perhaps the most beautiful of them all...



To the ancient Aztec and Mayan peoples the Quetzal was a sacred symbol of freedom and wealth. Freedom, because it was believed that a quetzal would not survive in captivity, preferring death to imprisonment; and wealth, because quetzal feathers were worn only by royalty and were more precious even than gold. Quetzals were believed to protect these ancient peoples in battle and are even believed to be the inspiration for the mythical phoenix.

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