Order Passeriformes

Family Thraupidae

The green honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza) is a small bird in the tanager family. It is found in the tropical New World from southern Mexico south to Brazil, and on Trinidad. It is the only member of the genus Chlorophanes. The purplish honeycreeper (Chlorophanes purpurascens), a bird from Venezuela known only from the type specimen, is now thought to be an intergeneric hybrid between the green honeycreeper and either the red-legged honeycreeper or the blue dacnis.


The size of the bird is 13 cm and weighs between 14 and 23 g. It is a bird with a long, sharp beak and slightly curved at the tip, bright yellow with a black culm (1). The male has a bluish-green to intense turquoise plumage, with the crown (2) and the sides of the head in the shape of a black «hood»; it has red eyes and grayish legs.

The immature (3) is similar to the female, with dull green plumage with paler underparts, but darker in color, the belly is grayish in color and the eyes are reddish.

(Hilty, 2016; Hilty & Brown, 1986, 2001)

Similar species

Immature Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola) and Rufous-winged Tanager (Tangara lavinia) are similar to the female, but their beaks are shorter and more robust, and their green plumages are less uniform.  It’s similar to Chlorochrysa phoenicotis and Dacnis cayana


It is found from the South East of Mexico to Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil; in Colombia it is on the Pacific coast through the Andes to the Eastern Cordillera, in the Serranía de Perijá, and from Norte de Santander to the eastern plains. It is up to 2,300 m high.


Present in humid and very humid forests, vegetation with secondary growth in lowlands and edges, foothills and gardens with scattered trees.


It feeds mainly on fruits, berries, seeds, flower nectar and arthropods such as flies (Diptera), beetles (Coleoptera); it usually makes short flights to catch insects and also sips nectar.


Their reproductive seasons have been reported to be between April and July, and occasionally until September in Costa Rica, between May and July in Trinidad; in Panama a female was observed transporting material to build nests in July and with chicks between June and July.

It has parental care and the chicks remain in the nest for approximately 12 days and are fed by both parents, although the female makes almost three times as many visits as the male.

State of conservation

At the international level it is considered a kind of Least Concern

Highest threats

Based on an Amazonian deforestation model (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011), it is thought that the population over three generations (approximately 11 years) loses between 14.9 and 16.4 % of suitable habitat within its range; the population is then expected to decrease by 25% over this period of time.


Produces a variety of high and sharp notes such as «tsip» chip «or» psiit «