Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi

Chlorodrepanis virens

Hawai'i 'Amakihi

Chlorodrepanis virens

The ‘Amakihi is a widespead nectarivorous honeycreeper – one of the most common native birds in Hawai’i. It resembles many other birds including the introduced Japanese White-eye and the Maui ‘Alauahio. The white-eye has a more canvas green back and has a prominent white eye-ring, whereas the ‘Alauahio tends to be more yellow and has a straight and smaller beak. ‘Amakihi have a slightly down-curved bill, often times have black lores (area between the eye and bill), and are a bright green (juveniles and females can be duller in color).

Hawai'i ‘Amakihi in Waikamoi

Watch this MFBRP video of a male Hawai’i ‘Amakihi calling out in Waikamoi Preserve.

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'Amakihi Resistance to Avian Malaria

There is now evidence that Hawai’i ‘Amakihi are evolving disease resistance and/or tolerance to Avian Malaria. This species is currently found in low elevation areas that have mosquitoes and disease. Read more about the Hawai’i ‘Amakihi’s resistance to avian malaria.

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Listen to 'Amakihi

Their call notes include a buzzy “tzeet”, an upslurred “queet”, and a thin “zeek”. ‘Amakihi song is a loud trill that maintains a fairly level pitch, swelling in intensity in the middle. They also have a complex, canary-like whisper song.

More Information

Habitat and Behavior

‘Amakihi feed in a variety of ways ranging from sipping nectar to picking over the bark of trees for insect prey. They often travel in small flocks and prefer drier and more open forest.

Past and Present

Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands with two subspecies on Maui and Hawai’i, ‘Amakihi are probably the most adaptable of the native forest birds. They are abundant on Hawai’i and Maui, locally common on Moloka’i, and extirpated from Lana’i.

Conservation Efforts

‘Amakihi are found at lower elevations than most other honeycreepers, indicating tolerance or resistance for avian malaria. These low-elevation forests may serve as important grounds for coevolution of native birds with disease. Read more about the Hawai’i ‘Amakihi and avian malaria here.

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