Their "kee-wit" calls are quiet and their songs are a short, warbling trill.
When searching for food, it makes a tapping noise that can be mistaken for a woodpecker.
The Hawaiian name 'amakihi is derived from the word kihi or kihikihi, meaning curved.
They feed heavily upon nectar from the ‘ōhi‘a tree and is one of its most important pollinators.
Koa looper moth defoliation is now clearly visible from the saddle road, apparently moving further south, although there is no indication that the effects are moving upslope to higher elevation koa stands at present. Thus far only the very lowest elevations at HFNWR’s Maulua Unit have been impacted by the defoliation event.
About the Complex
Hakalau Forest Unit and Kona Forest Unit make up the Big Island NWRC.
Hakalau Forest is managed as part of the Big Island Complex.
Learn more about the complex
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
What's Happening at the Refuge
Reforestation efforts began in 1987 and have continued into the Present. Most of the reforestation can be attributed to assistance by local, national, and international volunteer groups. They have contributed thousands of hours to reforestation and to help in the recovery of Hawai`i's native forest habitats.
- January 13, 2015
Due to fire danger, the Maulua Public Access area is currently closed until further notice.
- April 18, 2015
You are invited to attend an Open House at Hakalau
Forest National Wildlife Refuge (Hilo, HI) on April 18, 2015. Guided rainforest
hikes will be offered between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to observe rare and
colorful native birds and plants and to learn about refuge management
practices. You will also have the option to tour a 130-year-old koa cabin and
the refuge greenhouse. Visitors must provide their own four-wheel-drive
transportation to the Refuge, which is a two-hour drive from Hilo, Waimea or
Kona. Reservations are required and may be obtained by calling 443-2300 by
Wednesday, April 15th. A map, directions and additional information will be
mailed to all participants.
The rare and endangered ‘akiapōlā‘au occurs in only a few areas of upper elevation koa/‘ōhi‘a forest on the Big Island. The ‘akiapōlā‘au feeds on insects and caterpillars living in the wood and under the bark of koa trees. Its bill is one of the most unusual in the honeycreeper family.
Page Photo Credits © Dan Clark, © Jack Jeffrey Photography
Last Updated: Jan 14, 2015