Birdnote®: The Cuban Tody, A Caribbean Jewel
About the size of a hummingbird, the Cuban Tody sports brilliant, multicolored plumage. (Photo: Sandra Minotti)
A “must-see” bird for anyone traveling in the West Indies, the Cuban Tody is a tiny bird with a lot of personality. In this week’s BirdNote, Michael Stein introduces us to these striking Cuban natives.
CURWOOD: It’s Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood.
[MUSIC – BIRDNOTE THEME]
CURWOOD: In the woodlands of the West Indies lives the Cuban Tody, a tiny bird no bigger than a cigar. But as Michael Stein tells us in today’s BirdNote, the little Tody has a voracious appetite for flying insects.
[Call of Cuban Tody]
This staccato call comes from the throat of a Cuban Tody. [Call of Cuban Tody]…
A bird that’s almost indescribably cute – and the top of the "must-see" list of any birder heading for the West Indies. Because although it’s not much bigger than a hum-mingbird, a Cuban Tody packs a lot of pizzazz into its tiny body.
It’s big-headed. Short-tailed. Brilliant leaf-green with a geranium-red throat. And as if that weren’t enough to be noticed, the Cuban species features a touch of blue on the sides of its throat. Its long, flattened bill looks like it’s built for insect-catching. And indeed it is.
In woodlands throughout the island of Cuba, Todies are terrific foragers. In fact, their Puerto Rican cousins have been known to catch up to one or two insects a minute, hunting from dawn to dusk. Their wings make an audible whirring sound each time they do this, and you may find a Tody just by listening for that sound.
[Call of Cuban Tody and music]
I’m Michael Stein.
Written by Dennis Paulson
Music and bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Orni-thology, Ithaca, New York. 'Traditional Cuban Music' 62981 recorded on the roof of the Libertad Hotel, Santiago by Gregory F Budney; Cuban Tody 112183 recorded by Gregory F Budney.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
© 2018 Tune In to Nature.org September 2018 Narrator: Michael Stein
CURWOOD: For pictures, migrate over to our website L-O-E dot O-R-G
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Newsletter [Click here]
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth