Quetzals differ from typical New World trogons in having iridescent wing coverts, less extensive fusion between the two forward-facing toes of their heterodactyl foot, broad tails with distinctly convex (rather than straight or concave) sides, and eggs with pale blue shells. They also average larger in body size than typical trogons, and the eggs and young develop more slowly. The Eared Quetzal is a seemingly primitive form, lacking the impressively long iridescent upper tail and wing coverts of members of the genus Pharomachrus (including the Resplendent Quetzal).
between the green and the red, and a greater amount of white on the underside of the blue tail. “Ears” of male inconspicuous.
Listen to the sound of Eared Quetzal
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
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10,000′, in coniferous and pine-oak forest, often near sheer rocky cliffs.
Nest: Site is in cavity in tree. Those found so far have been in apparent old flicker holes in large dead or partly dead trees, often growing well up on slopes of canyons. Nest cavities have been 25-70′ above the ground.
Clutch Apparently 2 eggs is the usual clutch. Incubation is probably by both parents, but details and incubation period not well known.
Young: Fed by both parents. Adults are very wary around the nest and easily disturbed by human intruders. Development of young and age at first flight are not well known.
Diet not known in detail. Feeds on a wide variety of insects, especially big ones such as katydids and large caterpillars. Also eats many small fruits and berries, such as those of madrone, especially in late summer and fall.
When foraging, perches upright, peering about rather slowly; then flutters up and takes an insect from foliage or grabs a berry with its bill, while hovering momentarily. At times may fly up to catch insects in midair.
Widespread forest destruction in the region may adversely affect the species through the removal of trees with suitable nesting cavities, a problem compounded by uncertainty over seasonal movements
reeder, to southeastern Arizona. Migration:
Probably no regular migration anywhere in its range. Has proven itself capable of wandering long distances, however, covering the open stretches of dry lowlands between mountain ranges in Arizona.