Euphonia luteicapillayellow-crowned euphonia

Geographic Range

The yellow-crowned euphonia can be found from Nicaragua to Panama.

(Slud 1964)

Habitat

Euphonia luteicapilla are common in dry scrubby and shrubby areas, savannas, and clearings with scattered trees. It can be found on occasion in the canopy of small forests.

(Ridgely 1984; Slud 1964; Wetmore 1989)

Physical Description

Euphonia luteicapilla is a very small bird, ranging in length from 86-96 mm. The male's entire crown and most of his undersurface are bright yellow. The throat and rest of its upper parts are steel blue. Females are a yellowish olive color on their upper surface and have an underside of dull yellow. The bill of E. luteicapilla is relatively small. It has a broad shape that gradually tapers to a point. Halfway down the beak there is a slight bend downwards.

Though this species is not well studied, according to Wetmore a female was caught and measured at 13.2 grams.

(Ridgely 1984; Wetmore 1989)

Reproduction

Euphonia luteicapilla builds covered nests with a side entrance. This habit is unique among its family. Both male and female help to build the nest.

Clutches are usually between 2 and 4 eggs, most often 3 are present. Only the female incubates the eggs, which usually hatch in 13 or 14 days. Regurgitated matter is fed to the hatchlings by both parents. Young are able to leave the nest in 22 to 24 days. If it is still early enough in the breeding season, a second brood may be raised.

(Ridgely 1984; Wetmore 1989)

Behavior

The yellow-crowned euphonia is generally a social bird, moving around in small groups constantly. These groups tend to move to places where mistletoe berries are the most abundant.

Mating behavior is unspecified, however a male and female will stay together as a couple to feed and raise their young.

Euphonias are known for their almost constant singing. "Pe-we," "see-see," and "beem-beem" are some of their more well-known calls and the latter is the source of their local name, Bim-Bim.

Though the migration habits of E. luteicapilla are not yet studied, almost all members of this bird family tend not to migrate for the breeding season.

(Ridgely 1984; Wetmore 1989)

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

As with all species of euphonia, E. luteicapilla is a frugivore, mostly feeding on mistletoe berries but also on other tree borne fruits. Its gut is actually specially adapted for mistletoe berries, which are a poisonous fruit.

(Slud 1964; Wetmore 1989)

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

The yellow-crowned euphonia is well-known and popular on birding expeditions throughout its geographic range. It is also a popular cagebird.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

None specified

Conservation Status

Contributors

William Goldsmith (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Glossary

Neotropical

living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.

World Map

acoustic

uses sound to communicate

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

forest

forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

iteroparous

offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

oviparous

reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.

scrub forest

scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

tactile

uses touch to communicate

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.

savanna

A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5? N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.

visual

uses sight to communicate

References

Ridgely, R., J. Gwynne. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Slud, P. 1964. The Birds of Costa Rica. New York: Bulletin of the Museum of Natural History.

Wetmore, A., R. Pasquier, S. Olson. 1984. The Birds of the Republic of Panama. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.