Fascinating Puerto Rican Tody

Puerto Rico has a wonderful variety of bird life, luring avid bird watchers to the country every year. There are a number of birds that are endemic to Puerto Rico, which makes sighting them extremely exciting. One such a bird is the Puerto Rican Tody. Locals refer to the small and colorful bird as the San Pedirito, translated to Little Saint Peter. It is protected by conservationists, who are working to ensure the survival of this bird that has made the entire Puerto Rico archipelago its home.

The Puerto Rican Tody is a small bird, measuring a mere eleven centimeters and weighing a maximum of six grams. They are, however, easy to identify as they are very colorful with green plumage that is highlighted by a white and yellow belly, yellow flanks and a vibrant red throat. It has a fairly long beak, and females have white eyes, while the males’ eyes are grey. Their under tail plumage is blue-grey in color, with their legs and feet being a reddish brown coloring. They prefer wooded and forested areas for their habitats, as their diet consists of insects such as beetles, earwigs, grasshoppers, flies, spiders and dragonflies, which are readily available in dense, damp forests.

Their nesting habits are highly unusual as well, as both male and female Puerto Rican Todys will work together to carve a burrow, approximately thirty centimeters in length, into the earth. Here the female will lay between one to four eggs and the incubation duties are shared by both parents.

One feature the makes the Puerto Rican Tody stand out amongst other tody species is its body temperature. Scientists have studied the tody as it is able to lower its body temperature from the usual 40 degrees Celsius, maintaining it at 36.7 degrees Celsius. Its ability to reduce body temperature by a further 14 degrees Celsius allows the Puerto Rican Tody to take to flight quicker, remain active and more aware of its surroundings and dangers.

The Puerto Rican Tody is most definitely an extremely fascinating bird, not only in regard to its attractive looks, but its unique character traits and fascinating features. Bird watchers visiting Puerto Rico should be sure to keep a look out for this beautiful little bird.