Maui Alauahio

Paroreomyza montana newtoni

Maui "Creeper" or Maui Alauahio creep along trunks, branches and twigs, flipping over bark and lichen in search of insects and grubs. Similar to Hawaii Amakihi in appearance and behavior, they can be distinguished by lack of prominent black lores, a straight bill, and brighter yellow color.

 

Listen to a Maui Alauahio

 

Habitat & Behavior

Alauahio forage among leaves and branches, but occasionally creep over bark of larger trunks. They can be found in native forests and to a lesser extent in exotic tree plantations such as Polipoli Springs State Park and Hosmer's Grove at Haleakala National Park. They rarely forage in arid mamane and pukiawe scrub. They are bold and inquisitive, often approaching people in small flocks. Their contact call is a loud "cheep". Their song consists of a repeated whistled phrase "whichy-wheesee-whurdy-whew".

Distribution & Conservation

Extinct on Lanai, and extirpated from west Maui, Alauahio now remain only on east Maui. They are fairly common on forested slopes of Haleakala above 1500 m. Their future existence depends on conservation and restoration of malaria-free forest habitat. They are not federally or state listed as endangered but are considered threatened by the Internation Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

To learn more about a project studying Maui Alauahio, go here.

Watch a Maui Alauahio foraging (available fullscreen in 1080P HD). Video by Paul Hugel: