|Male in Ciego de Avila Province, Cuba|
The spindalises were traditionally considered aberrant tanagers of the family Thraupidae, but like the equally enigmatic bananaquit (Coereba flaveola), they are often treated as incertae sedis (place uncertain) among the nine-primaried oscines.
Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, and heavily degraded former forest. It is not considered a threatened species by the IUCN. The subspecies zena is found in pine forest of the northern Bahamas.
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