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Todidae – Todies

todidae
Jamaican Tody in Jamaica: Photo by Brandon Nidiffer

Todies are small, colorful birds found exclusively in the Caribbean. With their vibrant plumage and distinctive bills, they add splashes of color to the tropical landscapes they inhabit. Despite their diminutive size, they are skilled hunters, often seen darting through the foliage in search of insects. These birds are known for their unique vocalizations, which contribute to the lively ambiance of their island habitats.

Overview of Todidae

Todies are diminutive, vividly green birds that thrive on insects, boasting strikingly long, crimson bills that appear disproportionate to their small frames. They typically perch attentively, occasionally fluffing their feathers while scanning their surroundings with rapid head movements, ever vigilant for potential prey. During moments of territorial disputes or courtship, these birds can become notably animated and vocal. Often spotted in pairs, both males and females contribute to the care of their offspring, nesting in burrows carved into earthen banks. While today they are found solely on the four largest Caribbean islands, ancient fossils suggest a broader historical range encompassing North America and Europe.