What is a Green Honeycreeper?

1 min read
What is a Green Honeycreeper? Blog Image


Ornithologists in Colombia recently photographed a wild green honeycreeper with distinct half-green, or female, and half-blue, male, plumage.

Why in News?

  • This distinct honeycreeper discovered had male plumage on one half of its body and female coloring on the other.
  • This differs from the typical males of this species, which are bright blue with a black head, and the females, which are grass-green all over.
  • The rare phenomenon is scientifically known as bilateral gynandromorphic. It arises from an error during female cell division to produce an egg, followed by double-fertilization by two sperm.

About Green Honeycreeper

  • It is a small bird in the tanager family.
  • Scientific Name: Chlorophanes spiza
  • Distribution: The New World Tropics (Rainforests in Central and South America), from Mexico to Brazil.
  • Features:
    • It is 13–14 cm long and weighs 14 to 23 grams.
    • Its plumage is strikingly sexually dimorphic. The male is mainly blue-tinged green with a black head and a mostly bright yellow bill. The female is grass-green, paler on the throat, and lacks the male's iridescence and black head.
    • They are called Green Honeycreepers because the females and young birds are bright green with red eyes. 
    • Although males have, on average, slightly longer wings and tails than females, there is considerable variation within each sex and much overlap.
    • It feeds largely on nectar, fruit, and insects and often frequents feeders supplying fruit.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Q1) What are tanagers?

The tanagers comprise the bird family Thraupidae, in the order Passeriformes. The family has a Neotropical distribution and is the second-largest family of birds. It represents about 4% of all avian species and 12% of the Neotropical birds. Traditionally, the family contained around 240 species of mostly brightly colored fruit-eating birds.

Source: Extremely Rare ‘Half Female, Half Male’ Honeycreeper Snapped in Colombia