Bananaquits in the Bahamas

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Perched BananaquitPerched 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 branchAdult 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.


2018-03-17T07:14:09+00:00March 10th, 2018|Categories: Bahamas, Bananaquits, Birds|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |6 Comments


  1. Pepe Forte March 12, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Once again you’ve hit the ball out of the park. It’s all there…vivid colors, beautiful composition and exquisite detail. You’ve made my day. Thanks Mia.

  2. Marty K March 10, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Marlene beat me to it — the “eyebrows” definitely add to the grumpitude! Such a cool little guy.

    There are so many strange and unusual animals in the Caribbean. I have tons of pictures of odd insects from my trip to St. Lucia 20 years ago.

  3. Elephants Child March 10, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Chibichibi is a much better name.
    Thank you for introducing me to this grumpy little bird (you are so right about that look).

  4. Bob mcpherson March 10, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Nice, cute bird.

  5. Marlene Snyder March 10, 2018 at 6:40 am

    PS….I think the ‘eye brow’ shape really adds to the grouchy appearance!

  6. Marlene Snyder March 10, 2018 at 6:38 am

    We’re having a VERY WINTRY morning in Nova Scotia, so the tropical birds are a nice contrast. I really like the songs you post, yesterday’s of the sage thrasher was wonderful. THANKS YET AGAIN for a morning pick-me-up to go with my coffee!

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