Guatemala Unit Study: Quetzal Bird Toilet Paper Tube Craft

The Quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, and known for its bright green and red plumage. Traditionally, the quetzal is incredibly important to the indigenous Maya of the country. Representing freedom, the quetzal is known to die in captivity. Sadly the quetzal has become endangered due to the destruction of it’s habitats. I thought an activity honoring this beautiful bird would be most appropriate for this unit study.

I made a simple outline of a few cuts to make this resplendent bird. You can download my pattern HERE. You can use construction paper or color it with markers, crayons, pencils or paint.

Materials Needed:

  • Quetzal bird outline
  • Toilet Paper Tube
  • Construction Paper in red, green & yellow (or coloring medium)
  • Scissors
  • Craft Glue
  • Green Feathers
  • Googly Eyes

The first step was to cut out the patterns so they can be traced on the construction paper.

Next we traced the pieces over the green and red construction paper.


We first glued the red breast onto the toilet paper tube.

We then cut out the green back feathers and two head pieces.

We glued the back feather piece overlapping the red breast, so the toilet paper tube is completely covered.

Allow each part to dry completely before moving onto the next step. We next glued the beak onto the head on one side.

We next glued the head in place. I used clothespins to make sure everything stayed in place as it dried. As you can see we used a generous amount of glue to make sure everything was well connected.

After allowing the bird to dry overnight, we added green feathers to tail, as part of it’s signature plumage. We also added a googly eye on each side – you could just draw a black eye on or use construction paper too, but googly eyes are always fun!

Tada! Our bird is finally done!

We displayed it on a glass cylinder so that it wouldn’t tip over… those feathers made it challenging to balance, haha.

What a beautiful bird, and what a fun craft to do as you learn about Guatemala!

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