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Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanididae

Apapane (himatione Sanguinea): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Apapanes have bright crimson plumage, along with black wings and tails, a white undertail and abdomen, and a long, down-curved bill. They are about 5.25 inches (13.3 centimeters) long and weigh between 0.50 and 0.56 ounces (14 and 16 grams).

Geographic range: Apapanes are found in ohia lehua rainforests (forests that contain ohia lehua trees) of Hawaii. They commonly range in forested areas over 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) in elevation on Hawaii, Oahu, and Kauai. They are vary rare or extinct on Lanai and Molokai.

Habitat: They inhabit forests over 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) in elevation.

Diet: Nectar makes up the main part of the diet of the apapane species, which is found on the flowering ohia trees. They also feed on insects that are found close to these flowering trees. The birds fly between forest patches of the trees, finding ones that are blooming. Apapanes feed in large flocks of the species, numbering as many as 3,000 individuals per 0.4 square miles (1 square meters) of area.

Behavior and reproduction: The social birds gather in large flocks and fly about forests in search of blooming ohia trees. Their calls include whistles, squeaks, raspings, clickings, and trillings. Their blunt wing tips make loud and distinctive noises while flying. They breed throughout the year, but primarily from February to June, which is the months where ohia nectar is most available.

Apapanes and people: There is no known significant relationship between people and apapanes. Early Hawaiian natives used the red feathers of the apapanes for their feather capes, kahilis (works of art), and helmets.

Conservation status: Apapane are not threatened. They are the most abundant species of Hawaiian honeycreeper. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsHawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanididae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Apapane (himatione Sanguinea): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, HAWAIIAN HONEYCREEPERS AND PEOPLE