Apapane / Himatione sanguinea

Appearance: Adult bright crimson with dark wings and tail and prominent white undertail coverts. Head usually brighter than the rest of the plumage. The brush-tipped tongue usually protrudes slightly, making bill tip look white. Juvenile yellow-brown with white undertail coverts. Laysan subspecies was more orange, with dingy undertail feathers.

Habits: Always found around flowering trees, particularly ohia-lehua. Often perches conspicuously on the outer clusters of flowers to feed on the nectar. The tail is characteristically cocked up. Small flocks of Apapane frequently fly high over forested ridges.

Voice: Incredibly varied call and songs, including squeaks, whistles,

Adult Apapane

rasping notes, clicking sounds, and melodic trills. Some songs are pleasant and rather canary-like; others are harsh and mechanical sounding. The songs vary from place to place.

Identification: White undertail coverts distinguish Apapane from all other red birds in Hawaii. Dull-colored juveniles best distinguished by slightly curved black bill and tail-up posture.

Occurrence: Most abundant native bird in the Hawaiian Islands. Present in varying numbers on all main islands in mountain forests above 600m and rarely in the lowlands. Abundant Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii; locally common Oahu, scarce Molokai, rare Lanai. Laysan form last seen in 1923.

Juvenile Apapane
09/04/2007
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