The male is bright metallic green with golden high-light above and scarlet below, with the underside of the tail being white. Males measure about 38 cm (15 in) in length and beyond the end of the tail have a magnificent train of long green feathers that extends another 38 to 76 cm (15 to 30 in). These are not tail feathers; rather, they are elongated upper tail covers. In the duller colored female, this train of feathers is short. The quetzal figured prominently in the art mythology of cultures of the region.
The quetzal, a Central American bird of great beauty, is the national bird of