The Yellow-crowned Euphonias (Euphonia luteicapilla) are Central American finches that are found in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. This is likely the most common euphonia in its range.
They are usually found in dry scrubby and shrubby areas, savannas as well as clearings with scattered trees. Occasionally they occur in the canopy of small forests. (Ridgely 1984; Slud 1964; Wetmore 1989)
They range in length from 3.4 – 3.8 inches or 86 – 96 mm and weigh around 13 or 14 grams. The bill is relatively small; it has a broad shape that gradually tapers to a point. Halfway down the beak there is a slight bend downwards.
The male’s entire crown and most of his underparts are bright yellow. The throat and rest of its upper parts are steel blue.
Females are a yellowish olive color on their upper surface and have an underside of dull yellow. (Ridgely 1984; Wetmore 1989)
Both the male and female build a covered nest with a side entrance. A clutch usually consists of 3 eggs, but 2 to 4 eggs a clutch are possible. Only the female incubates the eggs.
The young hatch after about 13 or 14 days. Both parents feed the chicks with regurgitated matter. The young fledge (leave the nest) when they are about 22 to 24 days old.
If it is still early enough in the breeding season, a second brood may be raised. (Ridgely 1984; Wetmore 1989)
Diet / Feeding
Their diet consists of a variety of tree-borne fruits. In particular, they are known to feed on mistletoe berries. Their gut is specially adapted for mistletoe berries, which are poisonous.
These finches tend to move to places where mistletoe berries are the most abundant. They are most commonly seen in small groups foraging in their favored feeding areas.
Euphonias are known for their almost constant singing. Their best known calls sound like “Pe-we,” “see-see,” and “beem-beem” – hence their local name, Bim-Bim.