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Puerto Rican Spindalis - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Stripe-headed Tanager)

Alternative name: Puerto Rican Stripe-headed Tanager

Spindalis portoricensis
Photo by Ganpra
Photo of male from Vega Alta in April 2004


The male has black head with white stripes, dark olive-green back and wings with white edges to the coverts and a brownish tail. Underside is yellow on the breast, white on undertail coverts, and with an orange wash on upper breast and on hindneck.

Female has upperparts olive-brown and underparts dull whitish with grey stripes. She has a weak impression of the same facial pattern as the male, with the eye-brow less noticable of the two stripes.

Within Puerto Rico, the Spindalis is quite destinct. On the other hand, a vagrancy by other members of the Spindalis group would be a real headache, should it occur.


Endemic to Puerto Rico where it is widespread and occur in both lowland and higher up.


Monotypic1; was at one time considered conspicific with the other Spindalis species from the rest of the Greater Antilles under the name of Stripe-headed Spindalis or Stripe-headed Tanager.


The Puerto Rican Spindalis is currently found more commonly in plantations than in their natural habitat, the forests of Maricao and the Caribbean National Forest (El Yunque). They may also be found in gardens, scavenging for flower nectar, and other areas where fruits are grown.


This bird is a frugivore but they also eat insects and small lizards.

They are usually found in pairs but may travel in small packs. Their nests are cup-shaped and are built from plant matter. 2-4 eggs are laid, which are light blue.

Puerto Rican Spindalis also engage in a behaviour called mobbing. This is when a pack of birds, from one or more species, attack a known predator usually to defend eggs or hatchlings. Such behaviour has been observed being directed at the Puerto Rican Boa by immature Puerto Rican Spindalis.


  1. Clements, James F. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2007. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801445019

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