Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In Search of the I'Iwi

I'iwi, Vestiaria coccinea or scarlet honeycreeper, Hawaii. These have near threatened status and are imperilled by their susceptibility to avian malaria, avian pox, habitat loss and predation by non-native species. These can be found high on the slopes of Mauna Loa, typically above 4500 ft. (due to the lack of mosquitos). Reasonably decent sized populations remain on Hawaii, Maui and Kauai and isolated populations remain on Oahu and Molokai. While not endangered, these little birds are typically found high up in the canopy of old growth Ohia and Koa and are somewhat difficult photograph (just give me a good duck to photograph instead...). Thus, this blurry photograph was the best of those taken after several hours of hiking and squinting at tree tops. The birds proved somewhat skittish and generally flew off as you approached except for those in the highest trees. Autofocus in dense bramble is also a bit of a beast...

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