Photo: Doug Wechsler/Vireo

Western Spindalis

Spindalis zena

Apparently specialized for life on islands, the Western Spindalis is widespread in the Caribbean, but it seldom visits the mainland. In our area it is a rare visitor to southern Florida. Most records have been of single birds in winter, but reports of small groups present in spring suggest the possibility that the bird may nest in Florida occasionally. It was formerly called Stripe-headed Tanager.
Family Tanagers
Apparently specialized for life on islands, the Western Spindalis is widespread in the Caribbean, but it seldom visits the mainland. In our area it is a rare visitor to southern Florida. Most records have been of single birds in winter, but reports of small groups present in spring suggest the possibility that the bird may nest in Florida occasionally. It was formerly called Stripe-headed Tanager.
Photo Gallery
  • adult male
  • adult female



Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

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Songs and Calls
Varied, high thin calls, including some that are reminiscent of Black-and-white Warbler song, transitioning to buzzier phrases.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
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