The Symbol of Liberty: Guatemala

The most spectacular bird of the Western Hemisphere. —Roger Tory Petersen (pre-eminent ornithologist)

The most spectacular bird of the Western Hemisphere. —Roger Tory Petersen (pre-eminent ornithologist)

An ark of green fire in sun An emerald meteor in mist A cold viridian flame in rain moved the Quetzal.

SOME YEARS AGO…
I was taking some photos of insects in the Biotopo del Quetzal when a man with his two young daughters came by. I noticed that the two girls were watching me attentively. Finally, the girls walked over to me and asked: “Are you Thor Janson?”

I answered in the affirmative. Then the girls told me that they had my book on the quetzal and that they both liked it very much. The younger of the two announced that her name was Lucía and that she had a question for me: “Is it true that the quetzal cannot live in captivity… ?”

I thought for a moment and then answered: yes it is true, the quetzal can NOT live in captivity. Although some scientists/zoologists have been able to keep the “shell” of a quetzal in a cage and have even managed to reproduce the quetzal in captivity, they are only shadows of themselves. Quetzals live in the cloud forests, to see one in free flight is to experience its magical presence as it soars, plumes flashing against the sky.

Their symbol, their credo is a life of liberty; the Quetzal, the National Bird of Guatemala, long may they soar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *