• Jeff Port Bethel University
  • Fuabcua Khang
  • Jose Simbaña
  • Harold Greeney




Euphonia, Orange-bellied, coordinated misdirection, nestling growth, parental care, Coordinated misdirection, Fringillidae, Nestling development, Parental behavior


We present the first observations of parental care behaviors of the Orange-bellied Euphonia (Euphonia xanthogaster) using 246 hours of recorded observations from two nests found in February of 2002 and 2006 in tropical montane forest near the Yanayacu Biological Station in Cosanga, Ecuador. Recording at one nest began with the onset of incubation and continued through fledging while the other was recorded after hatch and through fledging. Observations of male and female attendance at the nest were used to analyze visit frequency and timing, duration, and differences in male and female investment in the reproductive effort. Incubation and brooding were done by the female while both adults shared feeding responsibilities. The first descriptions of nestling growth are reported and egg measurements from three Euphonia xanthogaster quitensis and three Euphonia xanthogaster brevirostris nests are also presented.

Author Biography

Jeff Port, Bethel University

Professor of Biological Sciences


Barnard, GC (1954) Notes on the nesting of the Thick-billed Euphonia in the Panama Canal Zone. The Condor 56: 98-101. https://doi.org/10.2307/1364666

BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Euphonia xanthogaster. Available at http://www.birdlife.org on [Accessed 29 December 2022].

Bonaparte, CL (1851) Note sur les Tangaras, leurs affinités, et descriptions d'espèces nouvelles. Revue et Magasin de Zoologie Pure et Appliquée 3: 129-138.

Cisneros-Heredia, D (2006) Notes on breeding, behaviour and distribution of some birds in Ecuador. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 126: 153-164.

Clark, HL (1913) Anatomical notes on some genera of passerine birds. Auk 30: 262-267. https://doi.org/10.2307/4071552

Collar, N, I Newton & A Bonan (2018) Finches (Fringillidae). In J del Hoyo, A Elliott, J Sargatal, DA Christie & E de Juana (eds). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain. Available at https://www.hbw.com/node/52376 [Accessed 03 November 2022].

Di Sallo, FG, A Bodrati, & K Cockle (2019) Nesting and natural history of the Chestnut-bellied Euphonia (Euphonia pectoralis) in Misiones, Argentina and comparison with other species in the genus. Ornitologia Neotropical 30: 19-26. https://doi.org/10.58843/ornneo.v30i0.424

Fowler, J, L Cohen & P Jarvis (1998) Practical statistics for field biology, 2nd ed. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, U.K.

Fragoso, C, V Sosa & P Rojas (2021) Nesting behavior of the Elegant Euphonia (Euphonia elegantissima, Aves: Fringillidae) in urban and suburban sites of east Mexico. Acta Zoologica Mexicana 37: 1-19. https://doi.org/10.21829/azm.2021.3712365

Greeney, HF, D Gualingua, M Read, C Puertas, L Evans, O Baihua & RP Killackey (2018) Rapid inventory, preliminary annotated checklist, and breeding records of the birds (Aves) of the Boanamo indigenous community, Orellana Province, Ecuador, Neotropical Biodiversity 4: 10-44. https://doi.org/10.1080/23766808.2018.1433430

Gulson-Castillo, ER, HF Greeney & BG Freeman (2018) Coordinated misdirection: a probable anti-nest predation behavior widespread in Neotropical birds. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 130: 583-590. https://doi.org/10.1676/17-047.1

Hilty, S & WL Brown (1986) A guide to the birds of Colombia. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ.

Hilty, S (2020) Orange-bellied Euphonia (Euphonia xanthogaster). In J del Hoyo, A Elliott, J Sargatal, DA Christie & E de Juana (eds). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain. Available at https://www.hbw.com/node/61802 [Accessed 03 November 2022]. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.orbeup1.01

Imfeld, TS, FK Barker & RT Brumfield (2020) Mitochondrial genomes and thousands of ultraconserved elements resolve the taxonomy and historical biogeography of the Euphonia and Chlorophonia finches (Passeriformes: Fringillidae). The Auk: Ornithological Advances, 137:1-25. https://doi.org/10.1093/auk/ukaa016

Isler, ML & PR Isler (1987) The tanagers. Natural History, Distribution, and Identification. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., USA.

Janni, O, G Boano, M Pavia & G Gertosio (2008) Notes on the breeding of birds in Yanachaga- Chemillén National Park, Peru. Cotinga 30: 42-46.

Kerbs, B (2016) Xanthosoma undipes as a food source for Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager (Anisognathus notabilis) and the Orange-bellied Euphonia (Euphonia xanthogaster) in northwest Ecuador. Ornitologia Neotropical 26: 103-107. https://doi.org/10.58843/ornneo.v26i1.16

Kirwan, G (2009) Notes on the breeding ecology and seasonality of some Brazilian birds. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 17: 121-136.

Marini MA, FJA Borges, LE Lopes, NOM Sousa, DT Gressler, LR Santos, LV Paiva, et al (2012) Breeding biology of birds in the Cerrado of Central Brazil. Ornitologia Neotropical 23: 385-405.

Nelson, EW (1912) Descriptions of new genera, species and subspecies of birds from Panama, Colombia and Ecuador. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 60: 1-25.

Perella, DF, PV Davanco, LS Oliveira, LMS Sousa & MR Francisco (2017) Reproductive aspects of the Purple-throated Euphonia, Euphonia chlorotica (Aves: Fringillidae) in southeastern Brazil, and first record of the species nesting inside a vespiary. Zoologia 34: e19989. https://doi.org/10.3897/zoologia.34.e19989

Pérez-Rivera, RA (1991) Change in diet and foraging behavior of the Antillean Euphonia in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Hugo. Journal of Field Ornithology 62: 474-478.

Phelps, KD (1954) Cien de las Más Conocidas Aves Venezolanas. Editorial Lectura, Caracas, Venezuela.

Sargent, S (1993) Nesting biology of the Yellow-throated Euphonia: Large clutch size in a neotropical frugivore. Wilson Bulletin 105: 285-300.

Skutch, AF (1954) Life histories of Central American birds: families Fringillidae, Thraupidae, Icteridae, Parulidae and Coerebidae (No. 598.29728 S629). Cooper Ornithological Society, Berkeley, California, USA.

Skutch, AF (1972) Studies of tropical American birds. Nuttall Ornithology Club N° 10, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.154996

Solano-Ugalde A, A Arcos-Torres & HF Greeney (2007) Additional breeding records for selected avian species in northwest Ecuador. Boletín SAO 17: 17-25.

Videolan Organization (2013) VLC media player. Available at www.videolan.org [Accessed 02 February 2018).

Wetmore, A (1914) The development of the stomach in the euphonias. The Auk 31: 458-461. https://doi.org/10.2307/4072007

Wright, Z., J Port & HF Greeney (2017) Male and Female Parental Care in Golden-rumped Euphonia (Euphonia cyanocephala). Ornitologia Colombiana 16: eNB07

Zuccon D, R Prys-Jones, PC Rasmussen & PGP Ericson (2012) The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62: 581-596. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2011.10.002