Species of the Month: Hawaiʻi Mamo (Black Hawaiian honeycreeper)

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Species of the Month: Hawaiʻi Mamo (Black Hawaiian honeycreeper)

This year is Makahiki o Nā Manu Nahele (Year of the Forest Birds). For the month of February, the Hui Hōʻai ʻIke is highlighting the extinct mamo (declared extinct in 1898), humbly, as a reminder of why conservation work is important both ecologically and culturally. Mamo played an integral role in Hawaiian culture, as their feathers were most prized and reserved for high ranking chiefs.

Kepelino's account of mamo from 1859 ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (in Hawaiian) and translated in English tells of how akamai (smart; clever) this bird was and why it was so hard for kiamanu (bird catchers) to catch them.

Mamo, Cheif of the Small Mountain Birds

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An ʻakikiki sits on a branch. It is bending over, giving an upside-down look.
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