Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)



The bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) is a species of passerine bird in the tanager family Thraupidae. Before the development of molecular genetics in the 21st century, its relationship to other species was uncertain and it was either placed with the buntings and New World sparrows in the family Emberizidae, with New World warblers in the family Parulidae or in its own monotypic family Coerebidae. This small, active nectarivore is found in warmer parts of the Americas, and is generally common. Juvenile bananaquits are duller than adults, and may have yellow eyebrow and throat

Distribution And Habitat

The Bananaquit occurs throughout the West Indies, as well as Central and South America (Raffaele and others 1998). It is one of the most common resident species in Puerto Rico that occurs throughout the island and associated satellite islands (Raffaele and others 1998). However, it appears to be absent from Mona, Monito, and Desecheo islands (Terborgh and Faaborg 1973, Ventosa-Febles and others 2005). This species occurs in most habitats including urban areas and gardens, from scrubland to tropical lowland forest edges, but it is rare in the highest mountain tops and driest lowlands (Raffaele and others 1998). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 1,101 records within 418 hexagons or 87 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the 418 hexagons where this species was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 21 percent (87) of the hexagons, probable in 60 percent (252), and possible in 19 percent (79) (see map). Bananaquit 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.

Bananaquit Distribution

Breeding Habits

The Bananaquit constructs a nest made of grass and fine plant fiber year-round, but primarily from March to June, and following the seasonality of rainfall, according to previously published reports (Raffaele and others 1998). Atlas results indicate that the breeding season extends throughout the year, with a 281Bananaquit/Reinita Comúnpeak of breeding from March through June, as consistent with previous literature (see chart). The seasonal breeding pattern appears to coincide in each of the life zones with no evidence to suggest breeding times differ among the life zones. Results show that this species breeds in all of the ecological life zones, but most of the breeding activity was reported for the subtropical moist forest life zone (59 percent of the hexagons) that occupies the largest portion of the island, and also for the subtropical dry and subtropical wet forest life zones (20 and 20 percent of the hexagons, respectively) (see table and map). Evidence of breeding activity was reported for only one hexagon in the subtropical rain forest life zone.


The population trend for the Bananaquit across its distribution is stable, and it is listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2016), while locally this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories used by PRDNER and USFWS. In Puerto Rico, the Bananaquit has a protected habitat in land of 12 percent or 1183 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (~9972 km2). Note this area is larger than the total terrestrial area of the island because coastal hexagons and those hexagons covering small cays include a portion of water.