Euphonias are members of the finch family. Previously, they were considered to be part of the tanager family, Thraupidae.
Most euphonias are dark metallic blue above and bright yellow below. Many have contrasting pale foreheads and white undertails. Some have light blue patches on the head and/or orangeish underparts.
The Yellow-throated Euphonia or Violaceous Euphonia has a yellowish underside and lacks the dark throat of the other Euphonias.
- Jamaican Euphonia, Euphonia Jamaica
- Plumbeous Euphonia, Euphonia plumbea
- Scrub Euphonia, Euphonia affinis
- Purple-throated Euphonia, Euphonia chlorotica
- Yellow-crowned Euphonia, Euphonia luteicapilla
- Trinidad Euphonia, Euphonia trinitatis
- Velvet-fronted Euphonia, Euphonia concinna
- Orange-crowned Euphonia, Euphonia saturata
- Finsch’s Euphonia, Euphonia finschi
- Violaceous Euphonia, Euphonia violacea
- Thick-billed Euphonia, Euphonia laniirostris
- Yellow-throated Euphonia, Euphonia hirundinacea
- Green-chinned Euphonia, Euphonia chalybea
- Elegant Euphonia, Euphonia elegantissima
- Antillean Euphonia, Euphonia musica
- Golden-rumped Euphonia, Euphonia cyanocephala
- Spot-crowned Euphonia, Euphonia imitans
- Fulvous-vented Euphonia, Euphonia fulvicrissa
- Olive-backed Euphonia, Euphonia gouldi
- Bronze-green Euphonia, Euphonia mesochrysa
- White-lored Euphonia, Euphonia chrysopasta
- White-vented Euphonia, Euphonia minuta
- Tawny-capped Euphonia, Euphonia anneae
- Orange-bellied Euphonia, Euphonia xanthogaster
- Rufous-bellied Euphonia, Euphonia rufiventris
- Golden-sided Euphonia, Euphonia cayennensis
- Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Euphonia pectoralis
Diet / Feeding
Their diet consists of a variety of tree-borne fruits. In particular, euphonias are considered mistletoe specialists; however, the degree of mistletoe specialization varies between the subspecies.
For example, the Blue-hooded Euphonia feeds nearly exclusively on mistletoes, which make up about 80% of its diet. While others, such as the Yellow-crowned Euphonia, with some species from 20 – 80%; with the diet of some species being 80% mistletoe berries, while the Yellow-throated Euphonia‘s diet is only made by 20% of mistletoe berries.
Antillean Euphonias, Golden-rumped Euphonias, Thick-billed Euphonias, and Scrub Euphonias are also known to extensively feed on mistletoe berries. The Euphonia gut is specially adapted for mistletoe berries, which are poisonous.
Euphonias defecate sticky mistletoe seeds that cling to tree branches, thus facilitating the dispersal of the parasitic mistletoe plant to different trees. These finches tend to move to places where mistletoe berries are the most abundant.
Some species also feed on nectar and insects.
They are most commonly seen in small groups foraging in their favored feeding areas.
Breeding / Nesting
They construct domed fiber or moss nests, with a side entrance that hangs in vegetation and bromeliads or are placed into tree crevices or mossy banks. Both parents feed and raise their young.
Euphonias are known for their almost constant singing. Their best-known calls sound like “Pe-we,”: dee, dee, dee,” “see-see,” “ti ti ti ti” and “beem-beem” – which gave the Yellow-crowned Euphonias the local name “Bim-Bim.”