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Red-legged Honeycreeper RWD12b.jpg
male red-legged honeycreeper.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Cyanerpes
Oberholser, 1899

Four, all classed as Least Concern

The typical honeycreeper is a small bird in the tanager family. They are found in the tropical New World from Mexico south to Brazil.

They occur in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, they are specialist nectar feeders with long curved bills.

The four Cyanerpes species have colourful legs, long wings and a short tail. The males are typically glossy purple-blue and the females greenish.

The green honeycreeper is called a honeycreeper, but belongs to the monotypic genus Chlorophanes. It has a larger, stouter beak than the Cyanerpes group, and is less heavily dependent on nectar. The golden-collared honeycreeper, is also a honeycreeper, but is monotypic in the genus Iridophanes.


A commonly repeated, yet false, belief about the various honeycreeper species is that some of them lay black eggs.[1] This idea was first made known in the scientific community with the 1899 publication of Nehrkorn's egg catalog; Nehrkorn's claim was cited in ornithological literature for many years without verification, but by the 1940s it was established that none of the members of Cyanerpes lay such eggs.


Image Name Common name Distribution
Cyanerpes nitidus Short-billed honeycreeper Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela
Cyanerpes lucidus, Nusagandi, Panama.jpg Cyanerpes lucidus Shining honeycreeper Mexico to Panama and northwest Colombia
Purple honey creeper (Cyanerpes caeruleus longirostris) male.jpg Cyanerpes caeruleus Purple honeycreeper Colombia and Venezuela south to Brazil, and on Trinidad.
Red-legged Honeycreeper - Panama H8O2103 (23250437695).jpg Cyanerpes cyaneus Red-legged honeycreeper southern Mexico south to Peru, Bolivia and central Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and on Cuba


  1. ^ Eugene Eisenmann (1953). "What Bird Lays Black Eggs?". Auk. 70 (3): 362–363. doi:10.2307/4081327.

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