Kauai Elepaio

Chasiempis sandwichensis sclateri

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Fringilline and Cardueline Finches and Allies (Fringillidae)

Code 4

ELEP

Code 6

CHASAN

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable

The Kauai Elepaio is only found on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It is most common in wet ohia forests above 2,000 feet in elevation and less commonly occurs in drier and more open habitats. This Hawaiian endemic feeds on invertebrates by gleaning them from vegetation and catching them in flight. It is rarely found outside of the Alaka‘i Wilderness Preserve and Koke‘e State Park. The Kauai Amakihi is believed to have a population of 20,000 to 49,999 individuals and has been given a conservation rating of Vulnerable by the IUCN. It is threatened by introduced species, avian malaria, and habitat destruction caused by hurricanes.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Kauai Elepaio: This small monarch flycatcher has dark gray-brown to light gray crown and back, white to light gray underparts with light orange-brown wash on upper breast. Lores, eyebrows and throat are white mixed with cinnamon. White wing bars, rump, a white-tipped brown tail, black bill and dark gray legs and feet. Feeds on insects and spiders. Flight is rapid and direct. Sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat

Kauai Elepaio: Endemic to Kauai. Prefers dense, wet ohia forests above 2,000', however most individuals may be found at elevations above 3,600'. They are uncommon in the dry forests of Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast. Much of their population is found on the Alaka'i Plateau and Koke'e State Park.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

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

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Elepaio was named by the ancient Hawaiians after the sound of its song.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A group of flycatchers has many collective nouns, including an "outfield", "swatting", "zapper", and "zipper" of flycatchers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Kauai Elepaio

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Crystal Adams

Artist

Yury Lisyak

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.
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