I'iwi / Vestiaria coccinea

Appearance: Brilliant scarlet with black wings and tail and long, deeply decurved, peach-colored bill. Immature dull yellow with black spots. Bill dusky brown at first, becomes brightly colored with age.

Habits: A nectar-feeder often found in flowering ohia-lehua, mamane, and many introduced plants such as banana poka. Slow and deliberate in movements, keeps to the interior of leafy branches, rarely in the open. More difficult to see than Apapane, with which it often feeds. Wings produce an audible flutter in flight.

Voice: An almost infinitely varied repertoire of creaks, whistles, gurgles, and reedy notes often joined into a halting song. Some random calls sound like a

Adult I`iwi
Immature I`iwi

Identification: Long sickle-shaped bill unique among Hawaiian red birds. The I'iwi is more orange-red than Apapane, without white under the tail. Larger and redder than Akepa. Vocalizations can be very confusing because of wide variation and occasional imitations of other species.

Occurrence: Endemic to the Hawaiian islands (six largest). In native forests above 600m. Common to abundant on Hawaii, Maui and Kauai, rare or uncommon on Molokai, Oahu and Lanai.

child playing with a rusty harmonica. A loud rusty-hinge call diagnostic. May give humanlike whistles, or imitate other native birds.

09/04/2007
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