Green honeycreeper

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Green honeycreeper
Green honey creeper (Chlorophanes spiza spiza) male.jpg
Adult male C. s. spiza, Trinidad
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Chlorophanes
L. Reichenbach, 1853
C. spiza
Binomial name
Chlorophanes spiza
(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Motacilla spiza Linnaeus, 1758
  • Certhia spiza Linnaeus, 1766

The green honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza) is a small bird in the tanager family. It is found in the tropical New World from southern Mexico south to Brazil, and on Trinidad. It is the only member of the genus Chlorophanes. The purplish honeycreeper (Chlorophanes purpurascens), a bird from Venezuela known only from the type specimen, is now thought to be an intergeneric hybrid between the green honeycreeper and either the red-legged honeycreeper or the blue dacnis.[2]


The green honeycreeper is 13–14 cm (5-5.5 in) long and weighs 14 to 23 grams, averaging about 19 grams. It has a long decurved bill. The male is mainly blue-tinged green with a black head and a mostly bright yellow bill. The female green honeycreeper is grass-green, paler on the throat, and lacks the male's iridescence and black head. Immatures are plumaged similar to females. The call is a sharp chip.

The species name spiza derives from the Ancient Greek word σπίζα (spíza), a catch-all term for finch-like birds.[3][4]


This is a forest canopy species. The female green honeycreeper builds a small cup nest in a tree, and incubates the clutch of two brown-blotched white eggs for 13 days. It is less heavily dependent on nectar than the other honeycreepers, fruit being its main food (60%), with nectar (20%) and insects (15%) as less important components of its diet.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Chlorophanes spiza". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Storer, Robert W. (1957). "The Hybrid Origin of Chlorophanes purpurascens" (PDF). Auk. 74 (4): 507. doi:10.2307/4081756.
  3. ^ Bailly, Anatole (1981-01-01). Abrégé du dictionnaire grec français. Paris: Hachette. ISBN 978-2010035289. OCLC 461974285.
  4. ^ Bailly, Anatole. "Greek-french dictionary online". Retrieved March 12, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.
  • Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.

External links[edit]