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The Quetzal: Guatemala's National Bird. There's a legend about how the Quetzal got its red chest: he landed on dying Mayan ruler Tecún Umán's chest after being wounded by Spaniard Don Pedro de Alvarado. After that moment the Quetzal's chest turned forever red. The Quetzal is a symbol of freedom, as these birds cannot live in captivity.
Quetzals are strikingly colored birds in the trogon family. They are found in forests and woodlands, especially in humid highlands. They are fairly large (all over 13 inches long), slightly bigger than other trogon species. Quetzals have iridescent green or golden-green wing coverts, back, chest and head, with a red belly. These largely solitary birds feed on fruits, berries, insects and small vertebrates (such as frogs).