|male S. v. pretrei
|female S. v. pretrei
Ciego de Ávila, Cuba
The spindalises were traditionally considered aberrant tanagers of the family Thraupidae, but like the equally enigmatic bananaquit (Coereba flaveola), they are formerly treated as incertae sedis (place uncertain) among the nine-primaried oscines until the recognization of the family spindalidae.
The male is brightly colored with a black and white horizontally striped head and contrasting burnt orange throat, breast and nape. The remainder of the belly is light grey. There are two color variations: green-backed (generally northern) and black-backed (generally northern). The female has similar markings on the head, but washed out to a medium grey. She is olive-grey above and greyish-brown below, with a slight orange wash on the breast, rump, and shoulders. They are 15 cm (5.9 in) long and weigh 21 g (0.74 oz).
The species is found in southeastern Florida and the western Caribbean (Cozumel, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands). It is a rare visitor of extreme southern Florida, where the subspecies S. z. zena successfully bred in 2009.
- S. z. zena: Central Bahamas
- S. z. townsendi: Grand Bahama Island, the Abacos and Green Turtle Cay
- S. z. pretrei: Cuba, Isle of Pines and adjacent offshore cays
- S. z. salvini: Grand Cayman Island
- S. z. benedicti: Cozumel Island
- BirdLife International (2012). "Spindalis zena". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf. p. 460. ISBN 0-679-45122-6.
- Garrido, Orlando H.; Kirkconnell, Arturo (2000). Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba. Ithaca, NY: Comstock, Cornell University Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-8014-8631-9.
- Manfredi, Larry. "Western Spindalis nesting, first U.S. record!". South Florida Birding.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spindalis zena.|
|Wikispecies has information related to Spindalis zena|
- BirdLife species factsheet for Spindalis zena
- "Spindalis zena". Avibase.
- "Western spindalis media". Internet Bird Collection.
- Western spindalis photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
- Western spindalis species account at NeotropicalBirds (Cornell University)
- Interactive range map of Spindalis zena at IUCN Red List maps
- Audio recordings of Western spindalis on Xeno-canto.
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