Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Birds » Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanididae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Apapane (himatione Sanguinea): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, HAWAIIAN HONEYCREEPERS AND PEOPLE

Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanididae - Physical Characteristics

nectar birds bills finches

Hawaiian honeycreepers are a group of birds with very unique appearances. The Drepanididae family is divided into three groups: Hawaiian finches, seed-eaters with thick finch-like bills and songs similar to the cardueline finches; Hawaiian creepers and relatives, including nukupuu, generally green-plumaged (feathered) birds with thin bills that feed on nectar and insects; and mamos, iiwis, and relatives, red plumaged birds that feed on nectar and sing songs of squeaks and whistles.

Hawaiian honeycreepers are small- to medium-sized birds that are often mistaken for finches. They have a compact body and a relatively straight to greatly curved bill, with the wide variation of bill sizes and shapes due to the type of food eaten (some have finch-like bills adapted to feeding on seed pods, while many others have pointed or curved bills in order to forage (search for food) for insects and nectar). They have nine large primary feathers on each wing (with a tenth primary feather that no longer functions and has mostly disappeared), and a tube-like tongue (in most species) with a fringed tip that is adapted to nectar feeding. Plumage comes in a wide variety of colors from dull olive green to brilliant yellow, crimson, and multi-colors. Male Hawaiian honeycreepers are often more brightly colored than females.


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