This post is also available in: Dutch.
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?