Red-Legged Honeycreeper

ANIMAL:
Red-Legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus

Type of Animal:
Songbird

Habitat:
Forest edge, tall second growth, open woodland, tropical lowland woodland, plantations, semiopen areas w/ trees, shrubby areas, fields, parks, clearings, wet evergreen forest, tropical/subtropical forest, tropical/subtropical heavily degraded former forest, rural gardens, dry savanna, found from sea level to 5,000 ft

Location(s):
Found from far S Texas through S Brazil & Paraguay. Also found in Caribbean.

Appearance:
Both sexes have long black slightly decurved bill (slightly longer on males), male breeding plumage violet-blue w/ black wings/tail/back & bright red legs, turquoise crown, & lemon yellow underwing, male eclipse plumage greenish w/ black wings, females/juveniles green w/ paler faintly streaked under areas, females have red-brown legs, juveniles have brown legs

Food/Diet:
Nectar, fruit, berries, pulp, fruit seeds, insects, flowers

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & aviculture

Lifestyle:
Flocks of 5-15 birds

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Flock

Weight:
0.5 oz

Gestation:
3 weeks 

Life Span:
7-10 years

Height:
5 in

Body Length:
5 in

Tail Length:
0.4 in

Main predators are birds, mammals, snakes, lizards, crocodilians, & tarantulas.
 
Females build small cup nests in trees.
 
Females lay 2-3 brown-blotched white eggs.
 
Also called Blue Honeycreeper.
 
Female does all incubation but both parents take care of chicks.
 
Chicks fledge at 2 weeks old.
 
Call thin high-pitched tsip, sharp tsui, or low nasal chaa.
 
Song deliberate prolonged tsip-tsip-chaa-tsip-tsip-tsic-cha.
 
Very active & often restless birds.
 
Hovers often when foraging & when catching insects, either in flight or on foliage.
 
Some populations resident while others migrate short distances.
 
Active during the day (diurnal).
 
Males sing barely audible melodic warble during courtship.
 
Often seen hanging upside down when eating or obtaining food.
 
Tongue tip has small hair-like papillae.
 
Sexually mature at 9 months old.
 
Nesting material sometimes stolen from other birds.
 
Bathes in foliage after rains by flapping around in wet leaves or splashing in water-filled bracts of bromeliads.

Fun Fact(s):
Responds readily to easily imitated call of Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (a primary predator).
 
Long bill handy for probing nectar/other food.
 
Sometimes kept as cagebirds.

1 thought on “Red-Legged Honeycreeper

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