Found only on the Lesser Antillean chain of islands in the Caribbean, the Lesser Antillean bullfinch (Loxigilla noctis) is a stout finch with a very thick, short bill that is adapted to take the husks off seeds. The Lesser Antillean bullfinch displays marked sexual dimorphism, the male being primarily identified by a diagnostic reddish-brown throat and chin, which sits in stark contrast to the otherwise predominantly black plumage. There is also an inconspicuous red spot above the lores (the space between the eye and the bill), and the under-tail coverts often have a wash of reddish-brown (2).
The female Lesser Antillean bullfinch has dark olive-grey upperparts, with some brown on the wings, and greyish underparts. The under-tail coverts are tawny. The Lesser Antillean bullfinch may be further identified by its call, which is a simple twittering with an occasional harsh note, sharp trill or a sharp ‘tseep-tseep’ (2).
The Lesser Antillean bullfinch usually builds a globular nest in a bush or low tree, with the entrance at the side of the nest. Usually two or three spotted eggs are laid. Like other bullfinches, the Lesser Antillean bullfinch probably feeds mainly on seeds, by skilfully removing the husks with its large bill. It may also feed on the buds and petals of flowers, as well as on fruit, such as plantain, coffee and peppers (2).
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