The Fascinating World of the Greater Antillean Elaenia

The animal kingdom is filled with an incredible variety of creatures, each with its own unique characteristics and behaviors. Among them is the Greater Antillean Elaenia, a small bird with a big impact on its surroundings. This article will take you on a journey to learn more about this intriguing species, from its scientific name, physical appearance, eating habits, and more. So sit back, relax, and let us explore the wondrous world of the Greater Antillean Elaenia Greater Antillean Elaenia.

The Basics: Scientific Classification

As the saying goes, “know thyself”, so before diving into the details of this bird, let’s first understand its scientific classification. The Greater Antillean Elaenia's scientific name is Elaenia fallax and it belongs to the Tyrannidae family, a large family of small to medium-sized passerine birds. This family includes over 400 species of flycatchers, and the Greater Antillean Elaenia is one of them. Its closest relatives are the Caribbean elaenia and the Puerto Rican elaenia.

Where Can You Find the Greater Antillean Elaenia?

The Greater Antillean Elaenia can be found in the Greater Antilles, a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. More specifically, it is native to Cuba, Hispaniola, and the Bahamas. These birds are mainly residents of the wooded areas, forests, and mangroves in these regions. This species has also been spotted in southern Florida, indicating possible migration patterns.

A Colorful Creature

The Greater Antillean Elaenia may have a simple name, but it has a striking appearance Grey Peacock Pheasant. Its olive green and grayish-green plumage is adorned with a subtle yellow undertone, making it easy to spot among the foliage. The bird also has black wings, a whitish throat, and a lightly streaked breast. Despite its small size, measuring only 13 to 14 centimeters in length and weighing around 12 grams, the Greater Antillean Elaenia is a true beauty.

Adapting to Life in the Trees

As a passerine bird, the Greater Antillean Elaenia has a characteristic perching stance with three toes facing forward and one facing backward. It uses this adaptive feature to its advantage to forage for food. This bird has a unique feeding method, known as flycatching, where it perches and waits for its prey to fly by. Once spotted, it swiftly takes off to catch it in mid-air.

Eating Habits: Insects for the Win

The Greater Antillean Elaenia is an insectivorous species, meaning it mainly feeds on insects. It has a diverse diet that includes flies, beetles, moths, and spiders. These birds can often be seen hovering in the air, much like a hummingbird, to catch their prey. In addition to insects, they also occasionally feed on small berries and fruits.

A Compact Body for Efficient Flight

The Greater Antillean Elaenia may be small, but it has a compact body shape that allows for quick and efficient flights. Its elongated wings, short tail, and lightweight body make it an expert in navigating through the dense vegetation of the forests. These birds are also capable of hovering, standing out as one of the few species of flycatchers with this skill.

Thrive in Wooded Areas

Wooded areas provide the perfect habitat for the Greater Antillean Elaenia. These birds prefer living in the midst of forests, mangroves, and other wooded areas where they can find plenty of insects to feed on. They are also known to reside in the edges of these areas, allowing them to monitor their surroundings for potential predators.

The Lesser Antillean Elaenia: A Look-Alike

As we mentioned earlier, the Greater Antillean Elaenia also has two close relatives, the Caribbean elaenia, and the Puerto Rican elaenia. These birds share a similar appearance and behavior, but can easily be distinguished by their distinct calls. The Greater Antillean Elaenia has a high-pitched whistle, while the Lesser Antillean Elaenia has a distinctly lower-pitched call.

The Greater Antillean Elaenia: A Species of Least Concern

Despite living in the wild and being susceptible to environmental changes, the Greater Antillean Elaenia is currently listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means that their population size is relatively stable and they are not facing any immediate threats. However, with deforestation and habitat destruction on the rise, it is crucial to monitor and protect their natural habitats.

Why the Greater Antillean Elaenia is Worth Knowing

Now, you may be thinking, “what makes this bird so unique?”. Apart from its beautiful appearance and fascinating behaviors, the Greater Antillean Elaenia plays a significant role in its ecosystem. As insectivorous birds, they help control insect populations, preventing them from becoming pests. They also aid in pollination by feeding on nectar from fruits and flowers.

Get Up Close and Personal with the Greater Antillean Elaenia

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Cuba, Hispaniola, or the Bahamas, you may be able to spot a Greater Antillean Elaenia in its natural habitat. These birds are not shy and can often be seen perching on branches or hovering near flowers. However, if you want to be sure not to miss them, guided bird-watching tours are available in these regions.

The Natural Beauty of the Greater Antillean Elaenia

In this fast-paced world, it is easy to forget to take a moment and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us. The Greater Antillean Elaenia is just one of the many breathtaking creatures that call this planet home. From its vibrant plumage to its unique feeding methods, this bird is a true wonder of nature. Let us strive to protect and preserve these precious species so that future generations can continue to marvel at their magnificence.

Greater Antillean Elaenia

Greater Antillean Elaenia

Bird Details Greater Antillean Elaenia - Scientific Name: Elaenia fallax

  • Categories: Birds G
  • Scientific Name: Elaenia fallax
  • Common Name: Greater Antillean Elaenia
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Habitat: Wooded areas, forests, mangroves
  • Eating Habits: Insectivorous
  • Feeding Method: Perching, flycatching
  • Geographic Distribution: Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola), Bahamas
  • Country of Origin: Cuba, Hispaniola
  • Location: Wooded areas in Cuba, Hispaniola, and the Bahamas
  • Color: Olive green, grayish-green
  • Body Shape: Small and compact

Greater Antillean Elaenia

Greater Antillean Elaenia

  • Length: Approximately 14 cm
  • Adult Size: Small
  • Age: Unknown
  • Reproduction: Sexual
  • Reproduction Behavior: Unknown
  • Migration Pattern: Sedentary
  • Social Groups: Solitary or in small groups
  • Behavior: Active and agile
  • Threats: Habitat loss, climate change
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Unique Features: Distinctive crest on the head
  • Fun Facts: It is often heard before it is seen due to its loud and distinctive song
  • Reproduction Period: Unknown
  • Hive Characteristics: Unknown
  • Lifespan: Unknown

The Fascinating World of the Greater Antillean Elaenia

Elaenia fallax

The Unique Features and Behavior of the Greater Antillean Elaenia

The Greater Antillean Elaenia (Elaenia fallax) is a small bird that is native to several islands in the Caribbean, including Cuba, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. It belongs to the tyrant flycatcher family and is known for its distinctive crest on the head. Measuring only approximately 14 cm in length, this bird may not be very big, but it is certainly unique in its appearance and behavior. In this article, we will explore the various characteristics of the Greater Antillean Elaenia and how it survives in its natural habitat DatuSarakai.Com.


The Greater Antillean Elaenia is a small bird, typically measuring around 14 cm in length, with a wingspan of approximately 20 cm. It has a dark gray head and back, with olive-green wings and a yellowish belly. The most striking feature of this bird is its crest, which is an elongated tuft of feathers on the top of its head. The crest is mostly grey in color, with some yellowish streaks. This distinctive feature makes it easily recognizable among other birds in the Caribbean.


The Greater Antillean Elaenia is an active and agile bird, constantly on the move in search of insects to feed on. It is often seen flitting from branch to branch, making quick and precise movements as it catches its prey. Due to its small size, it is a master of maneuvering through foliage and can often be seen in the lower to mid-levels of trees, making it challenging to spot.

This bird is known for its loud and distinctive song, which is often heard before it is seen Guam Rail. Its call consists of a series of clear and high-pitched whistles, making it easier to identify even when it is hidden among the leaves. Outside of the breeding season, the Greater Antillean Elaenia is mostly solitary, but during the breeding season, it may be seen in small groups.


Little is known about the reproduction behavior of the Greater Antillean Elaenia. It is believed to be a sexually reproducing species, where males and females come together to mate and produce offspring. However, the specific breeding period is unknown at this time. Once the female lays her eggs, she will incubate them for approximately two weeks before they hatch. The parents then take turns feeding and caring for the young until they are ready to leave the nest.

Migratory Patterns and Social Groups

The Greater Antillean Elaenia is a sedentary species, meaning it does not migrate. It is likely due to the abundance of food in its habitat, making it unnecessary for the bird to travel long distances in search of resources. However, some individuals may occasionally travel short distances within their home range.

As mentioned earlier, this bird is mostly solitary outside of the breeding season. However, during the breeding season, it may be seen in small groups. These groups consist of a breeding pair and their offspring from previous mating seasons. The Greater Antillean Elaenia is known to be territorial and will defend its preferred area from other birds.

Threats and Conservation Status

The Greater Antillean Elaenia is considered to be a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means that, based on current information, it does not face any significant threats that would endanger its survival. However, the species is still vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation caused by human activities, such as deforestation and agriculture. Climate change also poses a potential threat to this bird, as it may alter its habitat and food sources.

Fun Facts

Aside from its unique appearance and behavior, the Greater Antillean Elaenia has some interesting facts that make it stand out among other species.

- It is often heard before it is seen due to its loud and distinctive song.
- It is a part of the tyrant flycatcher family, which includes other notable species such as the Vermilion Flycatcher and the Fork-tailed Flycatcher.
- The Greater Antillean Elaenia is sometimes referred to as the "Lesser Antillean Elaenia" due to its presence on several islands in the Lesser Antilles.
- It was first described by the French naturalist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1851.
- Despite its small size, this bird has a big appetite, feeding on a variety of insects, including ants, moths, and beetles.

Lifespan and Reproduction Period

The lifespan of the Greater Antillean Elaenia is unknown, but it is estimated to be between 4 to 8 years in the wild. As for the reproductive period, little is known about the exact timing of this bird's breeding season. It is believed to breed once a year, but this may vary depending on environmental factors and food availability.

Habitat Characteristics

The Greater Antillean Elaenia can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and savannas. It prefers areas with dense vegetation and a mix of tall and short trees. This bird is also commonly found in urban areas, as long as there is suitable habitat and food sources available.

In its natural habitat, the Greater Antillean Elaenia may share its space with other bird species, such as the Cuban Bullfinch and the Black-faced Grassquit. These birds have adapted to coexist and have different foraging strategies to minimize competition for resources.


In conclusion, the Greater Antillean Elaenia is a small but unique bird with distinctive features and behavior. Its loud and distinctive song makes it easy to recognize, and its active and agile movements make it a challenging bird to spot. Although little is known about its reproduction and lifespan, this species is considered to be of Least Concern and is not currently facing any significant threats to its survival. As with many other species, the preservation of its habitat and environment is crucial to ensuring the continued survival of the Greater Antillean Elaenia.

Elaenia fallax

The Fascinating World of the Greater Antillean Elaenia

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