Family Tanagers (Thraupidae)

Least Concern

Cuban Grassquit (Phonipara canora)


French: Petit-chanteur de Cuba German: Kubagimpeltangare Spanish: Semillero canoro

Loxia canora

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Nova Hispania; error = Cuba




Cuba. Introduced to Bahamas (New Providence).

Descriptive notes

11·5 cm; 6–9·5 g. Small and short-tailed, with distinctive plumage pattern. Male has black face and throat, contras­ting broad yellow patch starting... read more


Song a shrill “chiri-wichi-wichi, chi-wichi-wich” or “tsit-tsit-tilloi”,... read more


Primarily in semi-arid country, commonly near coast, also in open pines (Pinus), brushy... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on seeds and small fruits. Forages generally near the ground. Will leap upwards to reach seeds still on stem. Singly and in pairs; in... read more


Season Apr–Jun. Nest a large globular mass of woven dried grasses, lined with softer materials, entrance on side, placed low in spiny... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common in some parts of Cuba. Appears to be declining in some places close to human settlements.

Recommended citation

Rising, J. (2020). Cuban Grassquit (Phonipara canora). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).