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Manu Minute: The Disappearing 'Akeke'e

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Ann Tanimoto-Johnson, taken at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, San Diego Zoo Global
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The 'akeke'e is a critically endangered native bird that is endemic to Kaua'i. Like many other honeycreepers, they can only be found in high elevation forests, where cool temperatures ward off mosquito populations.

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Credit Ann Tanimoto-Johnson taken at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, San Diego Zoo Global
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A female 'akeke'e at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, San Diego Zoo Global

'Akeke'e were once thought to be a subspecies of the native 'ākepa and are still sometimes referred to as Kauaˊi ˊākepa. Both birds have a slightly offset crossbill, which helps them topry open 'ōhi'a leaves and flower buds in search of arthropods.

As the number of 'akeke'e in the wild continue to decline, these rare birds are singing less and less.

To listen or read more about the birds of Hawai'i, check out our Manu Minute page.

Patrick Hart is the host of HPR's Manu Minute. He runs the Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Lab at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
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