The bird-life of the country is remarkably rich; one bird of magnificent plumage, the quetzal, quijal or quesal (Trogon resplendens), has been chosen as the national emblem.
The scientific determination of the Quetzal-bird of Central America seems to have been first made by C. L.
Brigham, Guatemala, The Land of the Quetzal (London, 1887); J.
'QUEZAL, or Quesal, the Spanish-American name for one of the most beautiful of birds, abbreviated from the Aztec or Maya Quetzal-tototl, the last part of the compound word meaning fowl, and the first, also written Cuetzal, the long feathers of rich green with which it is adorned.'
The wonderful plumage of the " quetzal " (Trogon resplendens) was, it is said, reserved b y the Aztec rulers for their own exclusive use.