Featured Bird: Bananaquit

Bananaquit by Andrew Dobson
Bananaquit by Andrew Dobson
The Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) is featured on BirdsCaribbean’s new logo, as chosen by our members.

How to spot it:
This small, friendly and ubiquitous songbird has a sharp, curved bill, black head and upperparts with a white eyestripe, gray throat and yellow underparts. However, there is high colour variability across its range. On Grenada and St Vincent some birds are mostly black. Often heard chattering with a high-pitched squeaking.

Where to find it:
This very active bird is easily-recognised in gardens where it can become quite tame. Its’ attraction to sugar resulted in its widespread local name of sugarbird. Common in nearly all habitats, but less frequent or absent from mangrove, mountain tops and very dry lowlands. Most often found near flowering plants, where it moves rapidly between flowers.

What does it eat?
Mostly nectar, which it steals from flowers by piercing the underneath of flowers. It can cling to vegetation at all angles, and is often spotted hanging upside down while it examines flowers. During some times of the year it supplements its diet with fruit and insects.

Global status:
Abundant and found in almost all Caribbean islands, apart from Cuba, where it is found only in the north and on a few offshore islands. This bird ranges widely throughout Central America and South America. Highly adaptable to human environments.