Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves (Feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic warm-blooded, egg-laying, vertebrates)
Order: Passeriformes (passerines or perching birds) Toes; three pointing forward and one back.
Family: Thraupidae (Tanagers)

Genus/species: Coereba flaveola

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Feathers on the dorsal side are dark gray. There is a white eyebrow stripe, white wing spot, and yellow breast, belly and rump. The throat can vary from white to black and the bill is down-curved. Monomorphic (males and females look similar). Small honeycreeper (length 4-5 inches).



DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: West Indies, Caribbean mainland from Southern Mexico south to southern Brazil and northeast Argentina. Most commonly found at low elevations and rarely in the high mountainous forests in settled districts and secondary growth.

DIET: Primary food is from flowers for nectar.  Although it does use its sharp beak to pierce flowers from the side to feed, much like some hummingbirds, the Bananaquit cannot hover like a hummingbird. Also while clinging head downward; gleans small insects and spiders from foliage, or creeps over trunks and limbs searching for them.  Pollinates at least three species of Bromelioideae.


REPRODUCTION; The male and female build their own globe-shaped nests using leaves, grasses, and plant fibers from 5 to 30 feet above ground. Broods may contain from one to three white-cream color eggs.

LIFESPAN: 7 years in the wild.

Due to an extremely large range.


REMARKS: The highly successful Bananaquit inhabits basically every island in the Caribbean except for Cuba. On some islands in the West Indies an entirely sooty color morph is frequent.

Peurto Rico has adopted the Bananaquit as its national bird, and many Caribbean and South American countries have featured the bird on their postage stamps.


Encyclopedia of Life

IUCN Red List

Cornell Lab of Ornithology…

Animal Diversity Web

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink

Ron’s flickr