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Maui Alauahio

Paroreomyza montana

The Maui ʻalauahio, also known as the Maui Nui ʻalauahio or Maui creeper, is a vibrant species of Hawaiian honeycreeper. This bird is adorned with a bright yellow plumage, a less curved bill compared to its relatives, and lacks the prominent black lores found in the Hawaiʻi ʻamakihi.

Identification Tips

When observing the Maui ʻalauahio, look for its striking yellow coloration and the absence of black lores. The bill is less curved, which is a distinguishing feature when compared to similar species.

Habitat

The Maui ʻalauahio is found in diverse habitats above 900 meters on East Maui, including the rainforest belt of Haleakalā National Park, a forestry plantation, and a relic dry forest.

Distribution

This bird is endemic to Maui Nui, Hawaii, and is currently restricted to three populations on East Maui.

Behaviour

The Maui ʻalauahio exhibits monogamous behavior and is known to have nest helpers, often the non-breeding second-year offspring, who assist in feeding the female during incubation and the chicks post-hatching.

Song & calls

The call of the Maui ʻalauahio is a loud "cheep," while its song is a melodious series of whistled phrases, reminiscent of "whichy-wheesee-whurdy-whew."

Breeding

Breeding season spans from March to August. The young may remain with their parents for up to 20 months and typically breed in their third year. Nest helpers are more commonly observed in native plant habitats.

Diet and Feeding

An insectivorous bird, the Maui ʻalauahio forages along trunks and branches, flipping over lichen and bark to find moths, beetles, spiders, leafhoppers, lacewings, and ichneumonid wasps. It favors native plants such as ʻōhiʻa, koa, and ʻōlapa.

Conservation status

The Maui ʻalauahio is classified as Endangered, with its range being restricted and threatened by habitat loss due to feral ungulates, invasive plants, and a high susceptibility to avian malaria, which has a 75% mortality rate following exposure.

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Maui Alauahios on Birda

Sightings
A map showing the sighting location
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Liam Ehrman
20 Feb 2024 - 10:45pm
United States

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