|Photo by Steven Whitebread (Flickr)|
eared quetzal (en); quetzal-orelhudo (pt); quetzal oreillard (fr); trogón silbador (es); haarbüscheltrogon (de)
This species is endemic to Mexico, being found in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range and the adjacent Pacific slope.
These birds are 32-35,5 cm long and weigh 100-150 g.
The eared quetzal is found in the pine, pine-oak, and pine-evergreen forests, mostly in the upper and middle storeys of forest, particularly along watercourses in canyons and riparian corridors. They are present at altitudes of 1.800-3.000 m.
They feed on insects and fruits, namely caterpillars and other insect larvae, katydids, moths, and blackberries and madrone berries.
Eared quetzals are monogamous and breed in June-October. They nest in either natural tree cavities or old woodpecker nests, 7-15 m above the ground. The female lays 2-4 greenish-blue eggs, which are incubated by both parents for about 22 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 29-31 days after hatching.
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 20.000-50.000 individuals. The population is believed to be stable, but widespread forest destruction adversely affect the species through the removal of trees with suitable nesting cavities. Competition for cavities may be a limiting factor in breeding success.