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Posted by: atowhee | December 23, 2017

NATIVES TAKE TO THE HILLS

IiwiEP1This is one of the native birds seen by Peter and Linda Enticknap, fellow McMinnville birders, ona recent trip to Hawaii.  Here’s Peter’s account:

“We [were] on Maui. Went to 6,500 ft asl on Mt Haleakala in The Nature Conservancy Waikamoi reserve.  Had to sign up 3mos. In advance as they only permit one guided  access per month.  Also saw Hawaiian Hawk, Alauahio and Apapane. Saw NeNe in a private garden….Honeycreepers are now only found today above 4000 ft. Where there are native Lehua trees and no mosquito.”

Between invasive housecats, mongoose and mosquitoes many native Hawaiian birds are either extinct or driven to high elevation for survival.

Genetic data indicate the Hawaiian honeycreepers may be closely related to the finch family of North and South America. There are no honeycreepers in this family outside Hawaii.  These birds are NOT related to the honeycreepers of Latin America who are in the same family as some tanagers and the euphonia. Taxonomy lesson completed.

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