The Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) is a small songbird species in the tanager family (Thraupidae). It is found in the tropical New World from southern Mexico south to Peru, Bolivia and central Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and on Cuba, where possibly introduced.
The Red-legged Honeycreeper is on average 12.2 cm long, weighs 14 g and has a medium-long black, slightly decurved, bill. The male is violet-blue with black wings, tail and back, and bright red legs. The crown of its head is turquoise, and the underwing, visible only in flight, is lemon yellow. After the breeding season, the male moults into an eclipse plumage, mainly greenish with black wings.
Females and immatures are mainly green, with paler, faintly streaked underparts. The legs are red-brown in the female, and brown in young birds.
The Purplish Honeycreeper (Chlorophanes purpurascens), a bird from Venezuela known only from the type specimen, is considered to be an intergeneric hybrid between the Green Honeycreeper and either the Red-legged Honeycreeper or the Blue Dacnis.
This is a species of forest edge, open woodland, and cocoa and citrus plantations. The Red-legged Honeycreeper is often found in small groups. It feeds on insects and some fruit and nectar. It responds readily to the (easily imitated) call of the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum).
The female Red-legged Honeycreeper builds a small cup nest in a tree, and incubates the clutch of two brown-blotched white eggs for 12–13 days, with a further 14 days to fledging.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Cyanerpes cyaneus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Storer, Robert W. (1957). "The Hybrid Origin of Chlorophanes purpurascens". Auk 74 (4): 507. doi:10.2307/4081756.
- E.g. of Trophis racemosa (Moraceae): Foster, Mercedes S. (2007). "The potential of fruit trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico". Bird Conservation International 17: 45. doi:10.1017/S0959270906000554.
- E.g. of Dimorphandra sp.: O'Shea, B.J.; Milensky, Christopher M.; Claramunt, Santiago; Schmidt, Brian K.; Gebhard, Christina A.; Schmitt, C. Gregory & Erskine, Kristine T. (2007). "New records for Guyana, with description of the voice of Roraiman Nightjar Caprimulgus whitelyi". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 127 (2): 118–128.
- Basto, Natalia; Rodríguez, Oscar A.; Marinkelle, Cornelis J.; Gutierrez, Rafael & Matta, Nubia Estela (2006). "Haematozoa in birds from la Macarena National Natural Park (Colombia)". Caldasia 28 (2): 371–377.
- ffrench, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton & Eckelberry, Don R. (1991): A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition). Comstock Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2
- Hilty, Steven L. (2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cyanerpes cyaneus.|
- Red-legged Honeycreeper videos on the Internet Bird Collection
- Stamps (for British Honduras-(now Belize), Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Suriname) with ~RangeMap
- Red-legged Honeycreeper photo gallery VIREO Photo-High Res--(Close-up)
- Photo-High Res; Article
- Photo-female--(Close-up); Photo-male; Article pbase–"Panama Birds"