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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PASSERIFORMES > FRINGILLIDAE > LESSER AKIALOA [Hemignathus obscurus]

Lesser Akialoa Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Hawai?i ?Akialoa (Akialoa obscura) was a species of finch in the Fringillidae family. It was endemic to Hawaii. It became extinct due to habitat loss. It is also commonly called Lesser Akialoa, but this name dates back to the time when all small ?akialoas were united in this taxon. The Hawaii Akialoa is the other species of bird on Hawai'i to disappear during this time period. It disappeared at around the same time as its Oahu cousin. It was a yellowish bird with a long two inch long, thin whitish-yellow bill. It had small olive green wings which it used to flit from tree to tree to look for insects like beatles and caterpillars. It was seen gleaning the trees in search of insects. The bill of the Akialoa was also designed for more than bug extraction. The Akialoa also fed on nectar in the flowers of lobelias and O'hia blossoms. Its long bill could easily fit into petals of long flowers and took pollen from flower to flower on its forehead. It was collected at several places. It was once thought to be the same species as the Maui and Oahu form, but when specimens were compared all together the scientist saw that all three were different species. Even at the beginning the Kauai Akialoa was a separate species because of its larger size and its brown color. The Hawaiian form was the smallest of the four forms. With the loss of the trees and the flowers, the bird had no shelter or food and disappeared in the year of 1940.






                                     



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