That little yellow scoundrel again!

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Singing at the top of its lungs...

I cannot help it. I like these birds. Although very common, they never stop to amaze me. Take this picture, for example. I never knew these birds have forked tongues! If you take a look at the literature, the Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) is described as nectarivorous (nectar eater). I came across anatomical descriptions indicating tongues with bristles at the tip, because that’s what you supposedly need to extract nectar from flowers. Well, either the one I got in front of my lens is an aberration, which I doubt, or the local species is also somewhat different in terms of the shape of it’s tongue. As I already noted in an earlier post, the local Bananaquits (Coereba flaveola uropygialis) have a preference for an array of food types, not only for nectar. We often observed these birds collecting insects. Maybe their split tongue (somewhat reptile-like, don’t you think?) is an adaptation that allows them to locate small cryptic insects on tree branches, or below loose bark flakes, more efficiently. Who knows?
Maybe some additional ethological studies (studies of animal behavior) of the Bananaquits are in order. Who dares?

...and surprising me with its forked tongue!

About Leon Pors

4 Responses to “That little yellow scoundrel again!”

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  1. Brown says:

    It seems to be usual for when I told my servant girls from Ecuador about your observation. She told me that in Ecuador they also have forked tongues.

  2. Michiel Bijkerk says:

    Barika Hel , geelbuikje of suikerdiefje!!

    • Koos van Wieringen says:

      That’s how we call them in Curacao. On the island of Bonaire also known as Bachi Pretu (Black Jacket). They’re even called Chibichibi according to their special way of whisteling.