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
- June 27, 2016
With regret, we have decided to close our public access area, the Upper Maulua Unit, to self-guided activities. As new information about Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) is coming out all the time and more is learned about the extent of its occurrence and the probable means of spreading of this serious disease, we want to take every precaution to minimize the risk of unwittingly spreading the fungus while conducting an otherwise very beneficial and educational event for the public. ROD has not been confirmed on the Refuge at this point, but recent observations in the area and discussions with our research partners at U.S. Department of Agriculture and University of Hawai'i have heightened the level of concern for Hakalau Forest. Additional sampling efforts have been undertaken as a precaution. More information about Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death can be found at: www.ohiawilt.org
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.
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: Jun 27, 2016