from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bird, Coereba flaveola, possibly close to some American sparrows and finches.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

banana +‎ quit


  • The word bananaquit struck me; I couldn't find it in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate or the American Heritage Dictionary, but it was in the New Oxford American Dictionary:bananaquit /bəˈnanəˌkwit/ a small songbird with a curved bill, typically with a white stripe over the eye, a sooty gray back, and yellow underparts. BANANAQUIT.

  • The latter entry says "in combination used in names of various small songbirds found in the Caribbean area, e.g. bananaquit, grassquit" and adds that the word is "probably imitative." BANANAQUIT.

  • The AOU retains the Bannaquit as the only member of the Coerebidae, but the most recent evidence associates it with a group of tanager- or finch-like birds that build domed nests, including grassquits probably the closest to the bananaquit, the Orangequit of Jamaica, West Indian "bullfinches" and the Galapagos finches. BANANAQUIT.

  • Allen Orr New Yorker piece on evolution and genetics when I hit the sentence "Similarly, a gene that affects pigmentation in birds like the chicken and the bananaquit also affects pigmentation in mammals like the jaguar and you." BANANAQUIT.

  • Hawkins K, Bermingham E, Ricklefs RE, Mundy NI (2001) The molecular basis of an avian plumage polymorphism in the wild: a melanocortin-1-receptor point mutation is perfectly associated with the melanic plumage morph of the bananaquit, Coereba flaveola.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • I later learned it was the official bird of the islands, called the "bananaquit."

    News & Record Article Feed


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Bird. Small species closely related to tanager. Tropical species, casual visitor from the Bahamas to southern Florida. Note thin, downcurved bill. Adult has conspicuous white eyebrow, yellow rump; underparts white, with yellow breast; small white wing patch. Juvenile is duller; eyebrow and yellowish rump less conspicuous. (_Field Guide to the Birds of North America_, 3rd Ed., Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 1999, p. 394)

    February 2, 2007