Nesting Resplendent Quetzals at MTCF

Male Resplendent Quetzal excavating nesting Cavity at MTCF

Click on the following links to see Video coverage of Resplendent Quetzals nesting at MTCF

Resplendent Quetzal at nest site

Male and female Resplendent Quetzal at nest site

Female Resplendent Quetzal excavating nesting cavity

The past two weeks pairs of Resplendent Quetzals have been active moving through the forest here at MTCF, the males frequently calling. Often one female is followed by two males as they move through their habitat. We have been keeping our eyes open for nesting sites and today we were lucky to find a nest only 70 meters from our homestead on the trunk of an old tree about 6 feet off the ground. This pair of Resplendent Quetzals are actively enlarging the cavity they have chosen and we have located these birds at work on one of their first days at their new nest site. The bills of Resplendent Quetzals are weak and they choose nest sites in partially decayed wood so that they can easily excavate the cavity to the dimensions they require. On the video footage you can actually make out both the male and female removing decayed wood from the cavity. Fortunately in montane and cloud forest habitat there is no shortage of large branches and trunks of trees in various stages of decay. This particular nest site is in 2nd growth forest close the stream that feeds our hydro generating plant. The site is on the edge of forest in an open area with a small pasture. Only about 10 meters from a storage shed which may serve as a blind. How about a webcam?? Anyone with a webcam come on down and you get a free stay and a front row seat. We will document their progress and as they are still a ways from the female laying her eggs we’ll keep our fingers crossed that they find this nest site to their liking. This afternoon we got some good footage through the spotting scope hiding behind a stone wall that is the damn of our small pond. The scene was nothing short of breathtaking 

Female Resplendent Quetzal

Female making progress

Male standing guard while female excavates nesting cavity

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