Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 2nd week in January - 'apapane

What's Happening in Hawaii 
during the 2nd Week in January:

Photo: DOFAW

(Himatione sanguinea) are beginning to mate and nest in high, native forests throughout the islands. The ‘apapane is a small, crimson, primarily nectarivorous (nectar-eating) Hawaiian honeycreeper (Family: Fringillidae) and is an important ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha) pollinator. ‘Apapane are the most abundant and widely distributed Hawaiian honeycreeper, and are often seen flying above the canopy in search of patches of flowering ‘ōhi‘a. 'Apapane often choose upper branches of these trees as nesting sites. Their crimson plumage was sometimes used in Hawaiian featherwork.


'Apapane have an exceptionally wide repertoire of calls and sing almost all day during the breeding season, which for some pairs lasts as late as June. Courtship entails a lot of chasing on the part of the male 'apapane, both of his mate and of potential rivals, but everything settles down once nesting begins. The male keeps watch and sings from favored perches in nearby trees, while the female lays and warms the egg.

To learn more, visit the 'apapane page on the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) website.

Some text taken from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by the Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

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