Tag Archives: Cuevas de los Portales

Creation: Cuban Tody

Todus multicolor

Photo taken by Adam Riley in at Cuevas de los Portales in western Cuba.

One of the cutest birds in the world, the Cuban Tody (Todus multicolor) is a bird species in the family Todidae that is restricted to Cuba and adjacent islands. The species is characterized by small size (4.3 in), large head relative to body size, and a thin, pointed bill. Similar to other todies, the coloration of the Cuban Tody includes iridescent green dorsum, pale underparts, and red highlights.

Cuban Todies, like many resident Cuban bird species, are habitat generalists. They are known to live in areas including dry lowlands, evergreen forests, coastal vegetation, and near streams and rivers.

Cuban Todies are often seen in pairs. When perched, they sometimes repeat a peculiar short “tot-tot-tot-tot”, but the most characteristic call is a soft “pprreeee-pprreeee”. Nests consist of a tunnel about 0.98 ft in length with a chamber at the end into a clay embankment, though sometimes they use a rotten trunk or tree cavity. The walls of the tunnel and the egg chamber are covered with a thick glue-like substance mixed with grass, lichen, algae, small feathers and other materials that probably act as a sealant.

The Cuban Tody diet is dominated by insects, but also may include small fruits, spiders, and small lizards. Predators of Cuban Todies include both people in poor areas and mongoose. [Source: Wikipedia]

H/t Project Noah