Drepanis coccinea (Forster)

Iiwi (Drepanis coccinea)

The Iiwi belongs to the group of the so called drepanidine finches, a radiation of the Finch family, which is distributed exclusively on the Hawaiian archipelago and which has produced at least seventy species, of which, however, most have unfortunately been extirpated nowadays.

Even the Iiwi, which in the 20th century was still one of the most common of the surviving drepanidine finches, and which occured on all of the Hawaiian main islands, is now rare and has actually already disappeared from some of the islands (Lana’i, Ni’ihau).

The bird, which particularly feeds on nectar, is about 15 cm long and therefore belongs to the middle sized species within the group, the sexes are identical in color.

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drepanis-coccinea-fks

immature bird

drepanis-coccinea-fks1

adult bird

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Photos: Kim Starr & Forest Starr; by courtesy of Kim Starr & Forest Starr

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

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