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  • Writer's pictureCoach Polhemus

Native Bird of the Month 1/2023 - 'I'iwi

Welcome back everyone! This month's feathered friend is the 'i'iwi (Drepanis coccinea), a member of the honeycreeper family. Noted for its bright red plumage and long hooked bill, the i'iwi primarily feeds on nectar from native plants and trees, including members of the Lobelia genus and ohia lehua.

Researchers believe 'i'iwi may now be extinct on Oahu, and have been absent from Molokai and Lanai for some time. Surveys over the last decade show sharp declines in populations on Maui and Kauai, leaving an estimated 90% of the statewide population here on the Big Island. Next time you're in Volcano, or in any backcountry forest for that matter, take a moment to stop, look, and listen for one of Hawai'i's avian treasures.

(Photo provided by Coach P)

(Photo provided by Coach P)

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Melinda Mizuno
Melinda Mizuno
Jan 10, 2023

I just saw several 'i'iwi on a hike on the Puu Oo trail which starts on the Hilo side. They are so beautiful - and chirpy!

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