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Resplendent Quetzal with lizard

Montane oak forest, Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica (7,000 feet)

April 1, 2004

I noticed this open, photogenic perch as soon as we arrived near a quetzal nest, and I remarked to the group that that would be the "miracle perch" if the quetzal landed there. To my amazement, as we started to point our lenses there, the male quetzal soon flew in with a large lizard in its bill! That's the only time I've seen a quetzal with a lizard, which it soon took to its nest cavity to feed its young. Luckily we all scrambled and got the shot. It helps that the perched quetzal will stay in place for a long time while scanning the area for predators before it darts to the nest hole. It really was the miracle perch!
Canon EOS 10D Raw capture ISO 400
1/250 @ f/4 Canon 500 mm f/4 lens.
© Ralph Paonessa - All Rights Reserved
 
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ID# 204-14-1002
 
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