from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A kind of grassfinch; an American bird of the genus Spermophila or some related genus.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Other flagship species include the bizarre long-wattled umbrella bird (Cephalopterus penduliger, VU) and the blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina).
Several birds, such as the Peruvian song-sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) and the Pacific blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) visit the lomas at the beginning of the winter when many insect pupae hatch.
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."
Thus, according to Gosse, the grassquit of Jamaica (Spermophila olivacea) often selects a shrub on which wasps have built, and fixes the entrance to its domed nest close to their cells.