The Bananaquit is a common resident of the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John. It is a very small bird attaining an average length of 11 cm. It has a slender, curved bill, adapted to taking nectar from flowers. It sometimes pierces flowers from the side, taking the nectar without pollinating the plant. It cannot hover like a hummingbird, and must always perch while feeding. It will also eat fruit and insects. It often visits gardens and may become very tame. Its nickname, the sugar bird, comes from its affinity for bowls or bird feeders stocked with granular sugar, a common method of attracting these birds in the USVI.
While the Bananaquit may not be the yellow breast, which one reference noted was the official VI bird, it does have a yellow breast. So we couldn’t tell for sure from our sources if the Bananaquit is the official bird.
The official flower is the Yellow Trumpetbush, or yellow elder, tecoma stans, also the official flower of the Bahamas. It is a tubular yellow flower with ultra-fine red stripes on each petal. It grows wild in parts of the Caribbean, but is usually improved through cultivation. The Yellow Elder Tree may reach a height of nearly twenty feet. The blooming period is from October to December, diminishing by March.