Meet the Narrow-billed today: A cute little bird with a rather large head, long bill, and short tail, all combining to create a profile shared only by the Broad-billed Tody.

An Iridescent Cap Of Emerald Green Is Offset By A Jewel Like Throat Of Ruby Red To Create A Glittering Gem Of A Bird!


Photo Courtesy of sussexbirder / CC BY 2.0

The narrow-billed tody (Todus angustirostris) looks like a typical tody, being a small chunky bird with a short tail. Only weighing in at 7.5 grams (0.26 oz), this today has bright green upperparts and head with a carmine red chin and throat separated by mallar stripe. The sides of the neck and breast are dark gray while the rest of the breast and belly area is white. The flanks are pinkish to red while the upper wings are bright green with the underwing area being yellowish.

Photo Courtesy of sussexbirder / CC BY 2.0

It is found on Hispaniola, which is the only island on which more than a single species of tody occurs.

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The Narrow-billed Tody tends to occur at higher elevations on the island, above 700 m, while the lowlands of Hispaniola are occupied by the Broad-billed Tody (Todus subulatus).

Photo Courtesy of sussexbirder / CC BY 2.0

The narrow-billed today is one of two species of today endemic to Hispaniola, a Caribbean island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

This species lives in and around dense, wet jungle and forests at higher elevations between elevations of 900 and 2,400 m (3,000 and 7,900 ft).

Narrow-billed tody’s diet is almost entirely made up of insects, with at least 49 families of them having been identified. Surprisingly they avoid dining on larger butterflies and caterpillars, which are part of the broad-billed tody’s diet.

Prior to breeding in April and July, the narrow-billed tody makes display flights without vocalizations, in a manner similar to those of others of its order, however, they include wing rattling that others do not. Both sexes excavate a nest burrow about 30 cm (12 in) deep in an earthen bank. Within a clutch of one to four glossy white eggs is laid. Usually, one clutch is laid per season, between April and July. Both sexes also work together to incubate the eggs.

Photo Courtesy of sussexbirder / CC BY 2.0

The IUCN originally in 1988 assessed the narrow-billed tody as Near Threatened, but since 2004 has rated it as being of Least Concern. However, its population has not been quantified and is believed to be decreasing due to habitat loss.

Photo Courtesy of sussexbirder / CC BY 2.0.

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