AskDefine | Define tody

Dictionary Definition

tody n : tiny insectivorous West Indian bird having red-and-green plumage and a long straight bill

Extensive Definition

The todies are a family, Todidae, of tropical birds in the order Coraciiformes, which also includes the kingfishers, bee-eaters and rollers. The family has one genus, Todus. These are small near passerine species of forests of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean. They range in weight from 5-7 g. These species have colourful plumage and resembles kingfishers, typically with green heads, backs and wings, red throats and paler yellow or white undersides. They have longflattened bills with serrated edges. They are highly vocal, calling continuously with simply unmusical buzzing notes.
They eat small prey such as insects and lizards. Insects form the greater part of the diet, particularly grasshoppers and crickets, beetles, bugs, butterflies, bees, wasps and ants. Spiders and millipedes may also be taken, as is a small amont of fruit (although this only makes up 2% of the diet).
Like most of the Coraciiformes, todies nest in tunnels in the ground, laying about four white eggs.
A prehistoric genus, Palaeotodus, is known from fossils. The prehistoric species, dated to the early Oligocene, was discovered in France and has also been found in Germany, suggesting the family was once far more widespread than it is today.

Species list


External links

tody in Danish: Todier
tody in German: Todis
tody in Spanish: Todidae
tody in French: Todidae
tody in Lithuanian: Todiniai
tody in Hungarian: Todifélék
tody in Dutch: Todies
tody in Japanese: コビトドリ科 (Sibley)
tody in Norwegian: Todier
tody in Polish: Płaskodziobki
tody in Portuguese: Todidae
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