Cuban tody

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Cuban tody
Todus multicolor -Ciego de Avila Province, Cuba-8.jpg
In Ciego de Avila Province, Cuba
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Todidae
Genus: Todus
Species: T. multicolor
Binomial name
Todus multicolor
Gould, 1837

The Cuban tody (Todus multicolor) is a bird species in the family Todidae that is restricted to Cuba and adjacent islands.[2]


The species is characterized by small size (11 cm (4.3 in)), large head relative to body size, and a thin, pointed bill. Similar to other todies, the colouration of the Cuban tody includes iridescent green dorsum, pale underparts, and red highlights.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Cuban tody is a year-round resident of portions of Cuba and islands just off the Cuban coast. Analysis of song variation suggests that the Cuban tody is structured into two populations, corresponding to eastern and western Cuba.[4]

The tody, like many resident Cuban bird species, is a habitat generalist.[5] It is known to live in dry lowlands, evergreen forests, coastal vegetation, and near streams and rivers. Cuban Todies may be difficult to see; Vaurie reported, "Only one seen at the Cape, in dense underbrush, but several heard." [6]


They are often seen in pairs. When perched, they sometimes repeat a peculiar short "tot-tot-tot-tot", but the most characteristic call is a soft "pprreeee-pprreeee" (which is the origin of its Cuban common name, 'Pedorrera').


Nests consist of a tunnel about 30 cm (12 in) long in a clay embankment, with a terminal chamber, though sometimes they use a rotten trunk or tree cavity.[citation needed] The walls of the tunnel and the egg chamber are covered with a thick glue-like substance mixed with grass, lichen, algae, small feathers and other materials.


The Cuban tody diet is dominated by insects, but also may include small fruits, spiders, and small lizards. Although the birds' ecology has been little-studied, they are known to participate in mixed-species flocks.[7] They are also food items: predators include both people in poor areas and mongoose.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Todus multicolor". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Todus multicolor: Distribution. Cornell Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Birds. [1]
  3. ^ Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Todus multicolor: Identification. Cornell Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Birds.[2]
  4. ^ Eneider E. Pérez Mena and Emanuel C. Mora (2011) “Geographic Song Variation in the Non-Oscine Cuban Tody (Todus multicolor),” The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 123(1):76-84. [3]
  5. ^ G. E Wallace et al. (1996) “Winter surveys of forest-dwelling Neotropical migrant and resident birds in three regions of Cuba,” The Condor 98(4):745–768.
  6. ^ C. Vaurie (1957) “Field notes on some Cuban birds,” The Wilson Bulletin 69(4):301–313. [4]
  7. ^ P. B Hamel and A. Kirkconnell (2005) Composition of mixed-species flocks of migrant and resident birds in Cuba. Cotinga 24:28-34.[5]

External links[edit]