Akohekohe

Palmeria dolei

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Fringilline & Cardueline Finches (Fringillidae)

Code 4

AKOH

Code 6

PALDOL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Critically Endangered

The Akohekohe is only found in protected forests on the eastern slopes of Haleakala Volcano on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Within this already small range, it only occurs between 5,500 and 7,000 feet in mesic ohia-koa forest and wetter ohia forest. The nectar of the flowers from the native ohia tree are its prime food source although the Akohekohe also feeds on caterpillars and the nectar of some other flowers. The IUCN has given this species a conservation rating of Critically Endangered due to an already small population of just 3,800 individuals that is believed to be in decline. The Akohekohe is threatened by alteration of its restricted habitat by introduced goats and deer, avian malaria and predation by non-native rats and the Small Indian Mongoose.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Akohekohe: This medium-sized black bird has a white-gold crest on its head and an orange eye ring extending to the orange-red nape. The breast and throat feathers are gray-tipped, and orange-tipped feathers are spread over the body. The wings and tail have white edges. The legs and bill are black. It feeds on nectar, insects and spiders. It has a direct strong flight. The sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Akohekohe: Limited range; endemic only to the island of Maui. Commonly found in moist forests on the east slopes of Haleakala at elevations from 5,500' to 7,000'. Formerly found on West Maui and Molokai. This bird is decreasing in population; it is estimated that there are 3,700 individuals remaining.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"Tjook tjook chouroup", "hur-hur-hur-gluk-gluk-gluk", "whee-o, whee-o", "tchew"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Akohekohe is also known as the Crested Honeycreeper. Despite its name, it is a member of the Finch rather than the Tanager family, where honeycreepers found in Central and South America are currently placed. Its subfamily, Drepanidinae was formerly considered a family, has become a subfamily of the Fringillidae family due to advances in molecular studies.
  • Once common on the islands of Maui and Molokai, today less than 4,000 are found on Maui.
  • A group of honeycreepers are collectively known as a "hive" of honeycreepers.
  • It prefers the flowers found on the Ohia lehua tree and will attack other nectarivores during low blooming periods.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Crystal Adams

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X