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The bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) is a species of passerine bird of uncertain relation. It is tentatively placed in the tanager family, but classified as incertae sedis by other authorities such as the American Ornithologists’ Union. Its classification is debated, and it is often placed in its own family: Coerebidae. It has recently been suggested the bananaquit should be split into three species, but this has yet to receive widespread recognition. The bananaquit’s song is described as a high-pitched series of thin, rapid, unmusical notes, and shows much geographical variation, while the call is a short, high-pitched tsip or seet.

Description: The colorful bananaquit is a small and distinctive bird with black to greyish upperparts, bright yellow underparts, a conspicuous, long white eyestripe, and a slender, pointed, down-curved beak. The beak is black with a reddish spot at the base. The female bananaquit may be paler in color than the male while juveniles are paler and duller, and have a more yellowish eyestripe.

Interesting Facts: The bananaquit is an active, energetic bird, often seen clinging to flowers which it probes or pierces for nectar with its sharp, curved beak, extracting the nectar using a specially adapted, brush-like tongue. It will also pierce fruits for their juices and sometimes supplements the diet with small insects and spiders, which it gleans from vegetation . This bird can even become quite tame, taking sugar from bowls in hotels or gardens, leading to its nickname of ‘sugar bird’.

Breeding:The bananaquit may breed year-round in some areas , with two or three broods produced each year, or breeding may coincide with the wet season . Two to four eggs are laid , and are incubated solely by the female, hatching after 12 to 13 days . The young leave the nest at two to three weeks old , and individuals have been recorded living to at least seven years in the wild.

Diet: Fresh Fruit, Nectar, Paradise Earth Softbill Diet, Lory Fruit Pellets and Insects.