310

Akekee

North America

310

Loxops caeruleirostris

Endangered

Habitat loss
Introduced plants and predators
Mortality through diseases

The Akekee is a Hawaiian endemic bird species that congregates in small populations in upper elevation forests of the island of Kauaʻi. It is similar in size with the Finch bird and its greenish-yellow colour is only interrupted by its black-masked eyes.

It uses its dark-tipped light-blue bill to cut open buds, like scissors, to feed on insects although nectar can also be part of its diet. Unlike other birds which use tree cavities for dwellings, the Akekee prefers to have its nesting site on twigs of high trees.

Man-made activities as well as the presence of feral pigs and goats contribute to the destruction of the high-elevation forests where the Akekee bird species can be found. This leads to the invasion of non-native plants where their food sources come from. Because they are forced to dwell in low-level trees, they become vulnerable to mosquito-borne diseases as well as predation by rats which make population growth and recovery difficult.