The Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) is a species of passerine bird of uncertain relation. It is tentatively placed in the tanager family but classified as incertae sedis by other authorities such as the American Ornithologists’ Union. Its classification is debated, and it is often placed in its own family: Coerebidae. It has recently been suggested the Bananaquit should be split into three species, but this has yet to receive widespread recognition. This small, active nectarivore is found in warmer parts of the Americas and is generally common. [Wikipedia]
The Bananaquit is a small bird, although there is some degree of size variation across the various subspecies. Length can range from 4 to 5 in (10 to 13 cm). Most subspecies of the Bananaquit have dark gray (almost black) upperparts, black crown and sides of the head, a prominent white eyestripe, gray throat, white vent, and yellow chest, belly, and rump.
The sexes are alike, but juveniles are duller and often have a partially yellow eyebrow and throat.
In the subspecies bahamensis and caboti from the Bahamas and Cozumel, respectively, the throat and upper chest are white or very pale gray, while ferryi from La Tortuga Island has a white forehead. The subspecies laurae, lowii and melanornis from small islands off northern Venezuela are overall blackish, while the subspecies aterrima and atrata from Grenada and Saint Vincent have two plumage morphs, one “normal” and another blackish. The pink gape is usually very prominent in the subspecies from islands in the Caribbean Sea. [Wikipedia]
Fond of nectar, this little bird often creeps about in flowering trees, probing the blossoms. It is widespread in the American tropics and especially numerous in the West Indies, including the Bahamas. Strays from the Bahamas have turned up a number of times in southern Florida, mainly in winter. [Audubon.org]