Family Trogons (Trogonidae)

Near Threatened

Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)


French: Quetzal resplendissant German: Quetzal Spanish: Quetzal guatemalteco
Other common names: Costa Rican Quetzal (costaricensis)

Pharomachrus Mocinno

de la Llave

, 1832,

Guatemala and south Mexico (Chiapas)


Closely related to P. antisianus, with which in past was sometimes considered conspecific; P. fulgidus may be closest to these two. Synonyms of mocinno include paradiseus and resplendens. Race costaricensis argued to be full species#R#R, but differences small (with unidirectional morphometric disjunction). Species name sometimes misspelt mocino. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. mocinno de la Llave, 1832 – S Mexico (Oaxaca and Chiapas), Guatemala, Honduras, E El Salvador and NC Nicaragua.
  • P. m. costaricensis Cabanis, 1869 – Costa Rica (except Cordillera de Guanacaste) and W highlands of Panama (E to Veraguas).
  • Descriptive notes

    36–40 cm, with tail-streamers up to 65 cm more; 180–210 g. Male nominate race with bill yellow, partly hidden by green filamentous feathers radiating in laterally... read more


    Song a steady “k’yoi-k’yow, k’yoi-k’yow, k’yoi-k’yow, k... read more


    Canopy and subcanopy (sometimes much lower) of undisturbed humid epiphyte-laden evergreen montane... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruit; also insects, small frogs, lizards and snails. Largely frugivorous, strongly preferring fruits of Lauraceae. Thus, foods recorded at... read more


    Mar–Apr in Mexico, although a report from Chiapas of May–Jul/Aug; May–Jun in El Salvador, Mar–May in Guatemala, Mar... read more


    Resident in Mexico, but altitudinal shifts, presumably in response to changes in fruit abundance:... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES I. Considered Vulnerable in 1970s, but subsequent evidence suggested that it was reasonably secure; new... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 January 2020).