Updated: 07/01/2011 12:47 | By MSN Travel contributors
In pictures: the world's 50 most beautiful things

Most beautiful bird



The rare quetzals are famed for their vivid feathers and tails (© Christer Fredrickson/Lonely Planet)
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  • The rare quetzals are famed for their vivid feathers and tails (© Christer Fredrickson/Lonely Planet)
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The Resplendent Quetzal is often called the most beautiful bird in the world, and we're not going to argue; the name translates roughly as "large brilliant tail feather" because, during the mating season, the males grow vibrantly coloured twin tail feathers of up to a metre in length. But these rare birds sport iridescent blue, green and red feathers all year round. The quetzal lives in the mountainous, tropical forests of Central America, especially Guatemala and Costa Rica, where they have been revered since Mayan and Aztec times.

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