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: Fringillidae (Finches, based on molecular-genetic analysis)

Genus/species: Euphonia violacea

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Dorsal or upper side blue-black with deep golden-yellow underparts and a yellow forehead. The female is olive-green above and greenish-yellow below. The male has the curious habit of imitating the vocalizations of a great variety of birds, such as hawks, parrots, toucans and crows.

Length 4.5 inches and weight is 1/2 oz.



DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: E. violacea are found in tropical to subtropical areas of South America favoring tropical moist lowland forests but also found in open terrain with scattered trees and cultivated areas.


 Euphonia violacea 3193598750_af25280bfd_b

DIET IN THE WILD: Forages in underside of crown in upper third of tree mainly eating fruits with some bugs and nectar when seasonally available.



REPRODUCTION: They build a globular nest. The female incubates 3-4 eggs alone for a period of approximately 13 to 14 days. Both the male and the female participate in feeding the nestlings with fledging at about 24 days due to the relatively low protein content in their fruit-rich diet.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List: Least Concern (LC)
Based upon its wide range and current estimated population size.

REMARKS: E. violacea‘s digestive tract is specialized for processing soft fruit pulp, being little more than a tube with a slight thickening along its length instead of a stomach. As specialists on mistletoe and some other toxic berries their weak digestive system is adapted to removing the flesh of the mistletoe berries without disturbing the toxic viscin layer surrounding each seed. Within ten minutes they can excrete the sticky strings of seeds by vigorous rear end movements, scraping them onto twigs and branches where the seeds have a chance to fall and germinate—good for the bird and good for the seeds. 


California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Manual 2014

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