Saturday, August 06, 2011

Birds of the Hawaiian Rainforest: 'Apapane

Juvenile ʻApapane, Himatione sanguinea, feeding from an Ohia Lehua blossom at Kilauea Iki, Hawaii. While threatened by avian influenza, avian malaria and habitat destruction, this Hawaiian honeycreeper remains a fairly common sight among the Ohia lehua trees of the high montane rainforests (above 4100 ft.) on the Big Island of Hawaii. You will typically see a flash of red darting from red Ohia blossom to blossom. While fairly common along the crater rim, it takes a long lens and some patience to get a decent picture. Note that the feathers of this and other Hawaiian honeycreepers were once used to create the Royal Hawaiian helmets, capes and kahilis.

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