Golden-headed Quetzal

This bird is the national symbol of Guatemala – it is featured on the state seal, coins, and stamps. The Houston Zoo has received a Significant Achievement Award for the captive breeding of this species.


  • Scientific Name: Pharomachrus auriceps
  • Range: Eastern Panama, the Andes mountains from Colombia south to northern Bolivia
  • Status in the Wild: Not Globally Threatened
  • Location in the Zoo: Tropical Bird House
  • Cool Animal Fact: Worshipped by ancient Aztecs and Mayans as a god of the air