Cuban Tody: Hummingbird-Sized Jewel Of The Caribbean

Cuban Tody with big-headed and short-tailed is a cute leaf-green bird that is not much bigger than a hummingbird.

A small, gemlike, woodland species that is usually found in pairs. The rather large head, long bill, and short tail create a unique profile. Also, note its shimmering green upperparts and red throat and sides. No similar species occur within its range. It usually hunts from low-to-middle level perches, sitting nearly still before leaping upwards to snatch prey from twigs and leaves. Vocalizations include a loud “chuk, chuk, chuk, chuk,” uttered at a rate of about seven to ten notes per second, with each burst consisting of one to ten notes; bursts often come in rapid succession.


The Cuban tody diet is dominated by insects, but also may include small fruits, spiders, and small lizards. Although the birds’ ecology has been little-studied, they are known to participate in mixed-species flocks. They are also food items: predators include both people in poor areas and mongoose.


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cuban todyMichael J Good

Thieres Pinto



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