(quick, nimble, active) / Loxops coccineus The male Hawai`i
`Akepa is bright red-orange, while the Maui male is dull
bronze-yellow. The female `Akepa has a greenish top and
yellow belly. This species has a short conical bill, a long,
notched tail, and is usually four to five inches in length.
The Hawai`i `Akepa is also known as `Akakane, and the Maui `Akepa
as `Akepeu`ie. Habitat & Behavior: One of the smallest
honeycreepers, the `Akepa can be found in `ohi`a and
koa-`ohi`a forests above 3,000 feet. They like to move in
small flocks and nest in tree cavities.Their diet consists
primarily of insects and spiders. They use their odd-shaped
bills to pry open `ohi`a buds, small seed pods, and galls in
search of food. They have been known to drink nectar from `ohi`a
and other flowers. Their "kee-wit" calls are quiet and their
songs are a short, warbling trill.
Hemignathus munroi Endangered - Found only on the island of
Hawaii. Fewer than 500 individuals remain. Feeds by chipping
away bark to find insect larvae.
Palmeria dolei Crested honeycreeper - Endangered Found only
in the rain forests of east Maui at elevations of 4,500 to
Hemignathus virens Common in native forests above 2,000
feet. Feeds more on insects and is less dependant on nectar.
Female is a darker, olive green color.
Himatione sanguinea Commonly found in 'ohi'a lehua rain
forests. Nectar forms the main part of this species' diet.
Feeds also on insects.
The `elepaio is a small, round, forest bird with brown-gray
coloring above and white or light coloring below, and white
markings on the wings, rump, and tail. Characteristic of the
`elepaio is the way the bird holds its tail up at an angle.
The Native Hawaiians named the `elepaio after its song: a
loud whistled "el-e-pai-o." `Elepaio also refers to one who
craves fish but does not go fishing. The cry of the bird was
thought to suggest "`ono ka i`a, `ono ka i`a," "fish is
delicious, fish is delicious." A variety of kalo with leaves
that are mottled with white is also called `elepaio.
Tradition has it that the `elepaio is the first bird to
awaken and sing, thus telling the supernatural workers of
the night, such as menehune, that day approaches and work
must be abandoned. The `elepaio is a member of the monarch
flycatcher family. It probably evolved in the Hawaiian
islands from Melanesian ancestors that colonized the
Hawaiian islands via Polynesia or Micronesia. Once
established, the `elepaio further evolved into three
subspecies, each of which is endemic to a different island:
Kaua`i, O`ahu, and Hawai`i. Although all three subspecies
still exist, the O`ahu `elepaio is in danger of going
Hawai`i Creeper / Oreomystis mana / Hawai`i `Alauahio The
Hawai`i Creeper is 5 inches in length and is olive-green
with a white throat and a dark gray raccoon-like mask. Its
belly is paler than the rest of the body. It is often
mistaken as an `Amakihi, Hawai`i `Akepa, or the Japanese
White-eye because of similar appearance and behavior.
Habitat & Behavior: The Hawai`i Creeper (or Hawai`i `Alauahio)
belongs to the “creeper” family, which gets its name because
of its creeping movement from branch to branch. Other
endangered creepers include the Crested Honeycreeper, the
Moloka`i Creeper, and the O`ahu Creeper. These four forest
birds are entirely dependent upon native Hawaiian forest
ecosystems for food, shelter and nesting sites. The Hawai`i
Creeper is an active rainforest bird that lives in
koa-`ohi`a forests above 2,200 feet in elevation. It feeds
primarily on insects gleaned from branches and tree trunks,
but is sometimes seen feeding on nectar. The Hawai`i Creeper
travels in family groups and sometimes flocks with other
native birds such as the `Akepa and the `Akiapola`au. It
breeds from January to May. The Hawai`i Creeper has a rapid
trill song and a thin “sweet” call.
Hawaiian Hawk ('io) To ancient Hawaiians, the 'io was a
royal figure: strong and aggressive, but also graceful and
stately, flying silently high above the earth. The Hawaiian
saying "kaha ka 'io i ka malie" translates as "the hawk
stands out in the calm skies," and is used to denote
admiration for a person who stands out in a crowd because of
their appearance or charisma. The palace of the Hawaiian
monarchy in Honolulu was named 'Iolani, "Exalted Hawk,"
which reflects this long-standing symbolism. Survival: The
'Io has been able to persist because it can thrive in a
variety of habitats. It has learned to hunt the rodents that
have been introduced into the ecosystem, thus augmenting its
ancient diet of forest birds. As a top predator, the
presence of 'io in the forests of Kona is also an indication
that the system which supports it is still relatively
intact. In ecological systems, when the underpinnings are
damaged, the top predators are often the first to be
affected. In the forests of Kapu'a in South Kona, 'io still
build their nests in strong 'öhi'a trees, calling out their
existence for all to hear.
Vestiaria coccinea Found in 'ohi'a lehua forests. Feeds on
the nectar of 'ohi'a lehua flowers high in the forest canopy
and from tubular blossoms in the understory.
Hawaiian Goose - Nene, Branta sandvicensis Endangered.
Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The World's rarest goose.
State bird of Hawaii. The Hawaiian name Nene is derived from
the bird's low nay-nay call. Characteristics: small goose,
about 5 pounds, long legs, short wings, reduced webbing on
feet, legs and bill black, black face and nape, body plumage
mottled, male and female plumage alike, females smaller than
males, neck is of buff color with dark streaks. The dark
streaks are not due to dark pigmentation but are the result
of deep furrows sculptured in the fine feathers of the neck.
Mating pairs appear to last for life. Female incubates a
clutch of 5-8 eggs. Incubation lasts 30 days. Goslings are
able to leave the nest within days of hatching and are
capable of flight within 3 months. The young remain with
parents in family groups until the next winter breeding
season. The Hawaiian Goose is found in mid-elevation
terrestrial habitats and seldom near water. It forages on
grass, berries, and some weedy plants. Plants that are
favored for their berries include the ‘ohelo, Hawaiian
huckleberry, pukiawe with its pink berries, and kukaenene
with its dark berries which often color nene droppings. The
Nene nearly became extinct several decades ago. By 1950 the
population had reached less than 50 individuals. Current
(summer 1997) population estimates are: total 890 wild
birds, 375 on Hawaii, 250 on Maui, and 265 on Kauai. The
future of the entire population is still precarious,
primarily due to low gosling survival in the wild, low
percentage of adults attempting to breed, high levels of
predation by the mongoose, ferral cats, dogs, and pigs, and
excessive mortality due to road kill.
Loxioides bailleui Endangered Found only in the dry forests
on the slopes of Mauna Kea, Big Island, 6,000 to 9,000 feet.
The Pueo and the Hawaiian Hawk are the only two extant
native birds of prey native to the Hawaiian Islands. The
pueo is a subspecies of the North American short-eared owl,
and is considered by many scientists to be a relatively
recent natural arrival to Hawai'i. Survival: The pueo is
today restricted to the Island of Hawai'i. While it is still
relatively common there, it is considered an endangered
species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and is
therefore an important element of our biodiversity
Click Here For A Bird Chart
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