ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bananaquit – Bird of Unknown Lineage

Updated on January 16, 2011
Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)
Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) | Source


The Bananaquit is an active little bird often seen competing with hummingbirds at the local feeding stations. It is provisionally classified as a tanager but some organizations, such as the American Ornithologists’ Union, categorize it as incertae sedis , which is Latin for “We don’t know what it is.” It is sometimes grouped into its own family, Coerebidae. Further debate is in progress concerning whether it should be divided into three separate species. It is, however, considered by the majority to be a passerine bird (perching bird), although its relationship is debated.


The Bananaquit ranges from southern Mexico to northwest Peru; from there it can be found eastward into southeastern Brazil. In Ecuador it is locally common along forest borders, clearings and gardens of the humid lowlands on both the eastern and western slopes. It is most numerous in the coastal province of Esmeraldas. Commonly inhabiting the foothills below 1,100 m (3,600 ft) it can be discovered in lesser numbers up to 1,800 m (6,000).


This diminutive creature is 10.5 – 11 cm (4 – 4 ½ in) is length. Both sexes are identical with short, decurved bills and short tails. It has a blackish head and upper parts and sports an unmistakable white streak above its eyes. There is a white patch on the lower portion of the wings and a noticeable yellow rump. The throat is gray, transforming to a contrasting yellow chest and underbelly. Eyes are a dark brown and the legs are gray.


The Bananaquit is a high-strung wee bird, flitting nervously among flowers and fruit bearing trees. It feeds on nectar, similar to the hummingbird, but generally approaches a blossom from the side, probing for the sweet nourishment from the base, thus not pollinating the flowerets in contrast to the hummingbird. It will partake of fruit similar to its tanager cousins and can be located in mixed flocks comprised of both nectar and fruit feeders. 


The Bananaquit is an adorable and lively bird that can be very entertaining while observing the other avifauna of Ecuador. Its fast paced feeding frenzies will delight the avid birdwatcher and provide an amusing respite from the long walks searching the rainforests for their bounty.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ColibriPhoto profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      Thanks for the comment Anjili. I can get enough of observing the bird. Not just their color but how they interact with their environment. Fantastic creatures.

    • Anjili profile image


      7 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      I'm always mesmerized by these little creatures. So beautiful, tiny and delicate. They love paying me a visit when least expected and even breed on my hedge. I just love their sight and company more so when they come for a drink or bath in my home. Ohhh, such a welcome intrusion into our lives. They add a lot to our lives. Makes us love our creator more for being so considerate. Thanks for the share Colibriphoto

    • ColibriPhoto profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      I have a baby living in my back yard right now. It even knocks on my door when it wants to get fed. I think it will be gone in about another week. Thanks Bluebird

    • bluebird profile image


      7 years ago

      I've had several pet birds, in the spring there would always be at least one poor little baby that had fallen out of the nest in our yard and I felt it my duty to become its mother. It was so much fun feeding them and watching them grow and change...and fly away, boo hoo!

    • ColibriPhoto profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      "incertae sedis" means uncertain placement. I guess it is sort of like the platypus. What do you do with such a strange creature? Thanks for the comments Pamela.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 

      7 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      That's funny that they class it as 'we don't know what it is' in Latin. Another beautiful bird. Thanks for sharing.

    • ColibriPhoto profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      Thanks PA. There is so much to see and so little time.

    • Pixel-Alchemist profile image


      7 years ago from Waitakere Auckland : New Zealand


      A great hub. Always love learning about the creatures of the world I can only view via web or TV. Thanks for sharing


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)