Perched Bananaquit – Nikon D200, f8, 1/500, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 270mm, natural light
I’ve never seen a Bananaquit in person or in photos that didn’t look like it was grumpy, I guess it is their facial features and the downward curve of the bill that makes me think that but I still think they are gorgeous little birds. Bananaquits consume nectar and the curve of their bills aids in getting nectar from flowers and flowering trees and shrubs.
Bananaquits are found in South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Bahamas, occasionally they are found in Florida too. The can be found in tropical lowland forests and scrublands and because they are not shy they can be enticed to come in close by bowls of sugar water which gives them the nickname of “Sugar birds”. Across their range there are at least 41 recognized subspecies of Bananaquits.
Adult Bananaquit perched on a branch – Nikon D200, f8, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light
I’d seen Bananaquits on other Caribbean Islands but the ones of Half Moon Cay were easier for me to approach on foot.
When I visited Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas nine years ago today it seemed like there were Bananaquits everywhere but they were difficult to photograph because they were usually perched in trees or shrubs where I struggled to get a clear view of them and because the light was already high by the time I was able to get to the cay the quality of my images suffered.
Bananaquits are called chibichibi by locals because of their song and when you hear the song I think you can hear the sound of chibichibi in it.
I wish I had been able to spend more time with these small Bananaquits in much better light, they were fascinating to watch as they moved from flower to flower to feed.
Life is good.