Rainforest Birds – Yellow-Legged Honeycreeper

Bird Name:

Yellow-legged Honeycreeper

Latin Name:

Cyanerpes caeruleus

Status:

Least Concern

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Thraupidae

Genus: Cyanerpes

Species: C. caeruleus

General Information:

The Yellow-legged Honeycreeper is also commonly known as the Purple Sugarbird or the Purple Honeycreeper. It is found from southern Mexico down through northern South America. This purple bird gets its name from his striking yellow feet. There are five subspecies of this bird.

Physical Description:

The Yellow-legged Honeycreeper is on average around 4 inches in length and weighs between 8 to 14 grams. The male has purple plumage with black wings, belly, and tail. Its legs are bright yellow in color. Females and juveniles have greenish upperparts with green-streaked, yellow-buffed underparts. C. c. longirostris, the Trinidadian race, has a longer bill than its mainland counterparts.

Diet:

The diet of this honeycreeper consists of fruit, seeds, nectar, and insects.

Habitat:

The Yellow-legged Honeycreeper occurs in the forest canopy but also habits cocoa and citrus plantations. It moves seasonally in many parts of its range, which extends from Mexico in the north down into Brazil. It can also be found on the island of Trinidad. The female builds small cup-nests in the hollows of tree stumps that are generally less than 2 meters above the ground.

Reproduction:

The breeding season for the Yellow-legged Honeycreeper occurs in April and June in Trinidad, and October and December in Brazil and the rest of the mainland. A usual clutch of eggs consists of 2 dark-blotched, white eggs. The incubation period lasts about 12 – 13 days. Both the males and females share responsibility for feeding the young.