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The male can be heard singing an unusually beautiful song of deep, smooth, slurred notes in simple patterns. cool, coo-cool. Sometimes the male can be heard singing an unusually beautiful song of deep, smooth, slurred notes in simple patterns: keow kowee keow k’loo keow k’loo keeloo. On a few occasions I have heard them make sounds remarkably similar to a cat’s meow. Ritualized reproductive behavior begins in March or April. Often male and female quetzals can be seen flying through the forest in small flocks, and it is at this time of year when the male’s spectacular vertical display flight is most often seen. Once the male-female pair is formed they proceed immediately to search for a nesting site. Often pairs will attempt to return to nests used the previous year and intense competition between pairs can ensue. 98 » revuemag.com

The male, especially, can be seen making aggressive spiraling flights and calling loudly if any other pair is seen near his chosen nest, though I have never seen actual physical combat. Since quetzals, because of their relatively weak beaks, are only capable of carving nest holes in the most rotten tree trunks, there are probably cases where some pairs are unable to mate because of an insufficient number of nesting sites. Once a good site is found—and it may be either in the middle of the forest or an adjacent clearing—both male and female go to work making the hole, usually from 5 to 27 meters (16 to 90 feet) above ground. The hole is deep and similar to that of a woodpecker. In fact, sometimes quetzals will take over an abandoned woodpecker nest.

Revue 2010-11  

We feel privileged and excited to be bringing you this special edition. For the past 30 years Thor Janson has dedicated his abilities, talen...

Revue 2010-11  

We feel privileged and excited to be bringing you this special edition. For the past 30 years Thor Janson has dedicated his abilities, talen...

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