Akekee

Loxops caeruleirostris

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Fringilline & Cardueline Finches (Fringillidae)

Code 4

AKEK

Code 6

LOXCAE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

PHOTOS 1200

CONSERVATION STATUS

Critically Endangered

The Akekee is a small Hawaiian Honeycreeper endemic to the island of Kauai. It only occurs in wet forests above 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) elevation in the Alakai swamp, Kokee, and Waimea regions of Kauai and relies upon ohia trees for nesting and foraging for small arthropods. The population size of the Akekee is thought to be anywhere between 600 and 3,000 individuals and has been given a conservation rating of Critically Endangered. It is threatened by avian malaria, habitat degradation and the negative effects that introduced species have on its habitat and prey.

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SUMMARY

Overview

Akekee: This is a small, mostly olive songbird with yellow on the crown, cheeks, throat and underparts. It has a black mask around the eye and a bluish bill with a slightly decurved culmen. The bill works like scissors to cut open buds in search of insects to eat. It also feeds on the nectar of some trees. The sexes are similar, but the males are slightly brighter. It has an undulating flight.


Range and Habitat North America


Range and Habitat Hawaii

Akekee: This species is an endemic resident of Kauai found in wet and mesic forests with Ohia trees which occur 3,600 feet above sea level. This species is currently found only in three locations: the Waimea Canyon State Park, Alakai Wilderness Preserve, and Kokee State Park.


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • A group of honeycreepers are collectively known as a "hive" of honeycreepers.
  • Formerly classified as an Endangered species by the IUCN, recent research shows that its numbers are rapidly decreasing and that it is on the brink of extinction. It was consequently uplisted to Critically Endangered status in 2008.
  • It is rarely found below 1,100 meters due to its susceptibility to avian malaria and fowlpox transmitted by introduced mosquitos.
  • The Akekee has an unusual bill, with the lower mandible being bent to one side. It uses its bill like scissors to cut open buds in search of insects to eat.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

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

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

David Kuhn Sound

Akekee 4

  • Title: Akekee 4
  • Recordist: David Kuhn
  • Description: Whisper song may be given while foraging and preening.
  • Location: HI
  • Date: "6/16/2014"

Akekee D1

  • Title: Akekee D1
  • Recordist: David Kuhn
  • Description: Typical call note is a sharp "peek", short and upslurred.
  • Location: HI
  • Date: "November 19, 2014"

Akekee D2

  • Title: Akekee D2
  • Recordist: David Kuhn
  • Description: Less common call notes.
  • Location: HI
  • Date: "November 19, 2014"

Akekee D3

  • Title: Akekee D3
  • Recordist: David Kuhn
  • Description: Song is a high trill that goes down in pitch.
  • Location: HI
  • Date: "November 19, 2014"

Similar Sounding Hawaii David Kuhn

Akikiki 3

  • Title: Akikiki 3
  • Recordist: David Kuhn
  • Description: Song is a trill that descends in pitch.
  • Location: HI
  • Date: "6/16/2014"

Anianiau 3

  • Title: Anianiau 3
  • Recordist: David Kuhn
  • Description: Song is a trilled, repeated "wee-see".
  • Location: HI
  • Date: "6/16/2014"

Kauai Amakihi 2

  • Title: Kauai Amakihi 2
  • Recordist: David Kuhn
  • Description: Song is a flat trill, sometimes the first note is higher.
  • Location: HI
  • Date: "6/16/2014"

Voice Text

"Trill, chip, chip, chip, chup, chup"

Vocalization

Akekee: Fast, high-pitched trill that changes pitch and tempo halfway through the song. Their call is a loud ringing "peek!" or "sweet!" Advertising call is a series of energetic trills that vary and change pitch and speed; also have a whisper song.

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Chris Vest

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UnderpartsX

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

CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
CulmenX
The uppermost central ridge of the upper mandible.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X