Puerto Rican Tody (Todus mexicanus)

Puerto Rican Tody


The Puerto Rican tody (Todus mexicanus) is a bird native to the island of Puerto Rico. Despite its scientific name, the Puerto Rican tody is endemic to the island and is locally known as "San Pedrito" ("Little Saint Peter") and "Medio peso" ("half-dollar bird").

Distribution And Habitat

The Puerto Rican Tody is a fairly common species endemic to Puerto Rico (Oberle 2018, Raffaele and others 1998) but unconfirmed in Vieques (Gemmill 2015). It occurs in most forest habitats at all elevations, except in mangroves (Kepler 1977, Oberle 2018, Raffaele 1989a). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 581 records within 307 hexagons or 64 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the 307 hexagons where this species was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 15 percent (45) of the hexagons, probable in 37 percent (115), and possible in 48 percent (147) (see map). Puerto Rican Tody distribution. The map shows the highest breeding code by hexagon and overlaying the ecological life zones in Puerto Rico. Note: percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.

Puerto Rican Tody Distribution

Breeding Habits

The Puerto Rican Tody digs a burrow in an earth bank typically between February and May, according to previously published reports (Oberle 2018). As observed for other species (e.g., Bananaquit [Coereba fl aveola]), nests are not always used for laying eggs, and many of them can be abandoned (Raffaele and others 1998). Atlas results indicate that this species breeds throughout the year, but 179Puerto Rican Tody/San Pedritomost of the breeding activity takes place from March to June (see chart). Results show that the Puerto Rican Tody breeds in all ecological life zones, but most breeding activity was reported for the subtropical moist and subtropical wet forest life zones (56 and 27 percent of the hexagons, respectively) (see table and map).


The Puerto Rican Tody is a common species on the island and is classified as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2016). Locally, this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories of PRDNER and USFWS. In Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Tody has a protected habitat in land of 13 percent or 942 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (7344 km2).