SCIENTIFIC NAME: Todus todus
The Jamaican Tody is a small, gemlike, woodland species usually found in pairs. Its rather large head, long bill, and short tail create a unique profile.
It is a tiny, chunky bird that averages about 4.25 - 4.33 inches in length and average weight of 6.4 grams.
Adults have bright green upperparts including head, wings and tail. Underparts, chin and throat are red. Breast sides are pale yellowish-green whereas belly is mostly yellow. There is some pink on the flanks.
Head is green, with white moustachial stripe ending in small sub auricular blue-gray patch and joining the breast sides. Bill is two-toned with black upper mandible and red lower one.
Eyes are white or pale blue-gray, with some red above and below on the eye ring. Legs and feet are pink with black claws.
Males and females are similar but females have less conspicuous sub auricular blue-gray patch.
Juveniles have dull green back, gray or pink throat and breast is washed gray to greenish. Young birds are duller overall.
It is fairly silent outside of breeding season. It gives a loud “beep” in various situations, with different sharpness, intensity and frequency.
There is also a rapid, guttural throat-rattling “frrup” used during the territorial displays.
The alarm call is a loud hissing “cheep”. It also produces a loud, whirring sound, a buzzing noise made by the wings during the flight, described as “wing- rattling”. This noise is caused by the air passing through the primary feathers. It is mainly heard during territorial and courtship displays.
Feeds on a wide variety of insects including flies, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and moths.
Spiders, millipedes and small lizards, and occasionally fruit, are also part of the diet. It usually avoids stinging insects.
Frequents all forest types from wet to dry forests. It is mainly found in wooded hills and mountains, but its typical habitat may include mangroves and dry lowland forests.
Found in Jamaica.
Both adults excavate the burrow in vertical earth bank or in rotten tree trunk. The nest chamber is at the end of the tunnel. It is about 1 - 3 meters above the ground.
They use both bills and feet to dig it, and male and female work alternately while giving low sounds as contact calls between them. The pair defends strongly the nesting site.
The female lays 1 - 4 white eggs and both adults incubate during about three weeks.