Hawaii Elepaio

Chasiempis sandwichensis sandwichensis

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Code 4

HAEL

Code 6

CHASAN

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable

The Hawaiian Elepaio is native to the island of Hawaii and only occurs in native forests above 2,000 feet in elevation. There are three subspecies, each of which inhabits a different forest type. The subspecies that occurs at high elevations in mamane-naio dry forest is the rarest with just 2,500 individuals, whereas the species as a whole is believed to be composed of 216,000 birds. All subspecies feed on invertebrates and are given a conservation rating of Vulnerable by the IUCN based on fragmented, declining populations that are threatened by introduced species and mosquito-borne diseases.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Hawaii Elepaio: This small monarch flycatcher has a brown crown and back and white or rufous forehead and eyebrow. Black throat may show some white. Underparts are white with a brown-streaked breast. The wing bars and rump are white; brown tail may have a white tip. Bill is black, and the legs and feet are dark gray. Feeds on insects and spiders. Flight is rapid and direct. Sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Hawaii Elepaio: Can be found on Hawaii in most forested areas above 2000'. More common in wet and mesic forests. Three subspecies have been identified on the big island: C. s. sandwichensis in mesic forest, C.s. ridgwayi in rainforest, and C. s. bryani in mamane-naio dry forest on the west slope of Mauna Kea.

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Hawaii Elepaio SONGS AND CALLS

Hawaii Elepaio D2

Contact call is a repeated "chup".

Hawaii Elepaio D3

Begging call is a soft repeated "whit-whit-whit".

Similar Sounding

Kauai Elepaio 4

Song is a whistled "ele-PAI-o".


Voice Text

"El-e-pai-o", "chit-chit", "whee-oo"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • A group of flycatchers has many collective nouns, including an "outfield", "swatting", "zapper", and "zipper" of flycatchers.
  • It is considered the guardian spirit of canoe makers, who noticed that Koa trees frequented by these birds often harbored large insect populations that would make them unsuited for use as a canoe.
  • It is the first native bird to sing in the morning. Its song was thought to warn night spirits that dawn was approaching and their work must end.
  • The Elepaio was named by the ancient Hawaiians after the sound of its song.

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

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
EyebrowX
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X