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Red-legged Honeycreeper

Cyanerpes cyaneus

Red-legged Honeycreeper

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thraupidae

Authors: Ramos-Ordoñez, M.F., C. Rodríguez-Flores, C. Soberanes-González, and M.C. Arizmendi

Red-legged Honeycreeper

Panama, 16 January 2006, © Christopher Wood.

The Red-legged Honeycreeper is a small relative of the tanagers that is very common in Central and northern South America from Mexico south to Brazil.  The species has a catholic diet and will feed on fruit, insects, and even nectar in a variety of forest habitats.  The male is a brilliant blue with a turquoise head, black bill and eye mask, black wings, back, and tail, and the eponymous red legs; however, after breeding, males have a molt that produces a dull eclipse-type plumage, which is atypical of Neotropical passerines.  Females are pale green throughout with dull legs.

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Recommended Citation

Ramos-Ordoñez, M.F., C. Rodríguez-Flores, C. Soberanes-González, and M.C. Arizmendi. 2010. Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website, for the distribution in Central America and/or Caribbean, and on a map provided by Robert S. Ridgely, for the South American distribution.

The data for the InforNatura maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

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  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
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  • IUCN Status:Least Concern