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Hawaiian Name: kāmaʻo
Common Name: Large Kauaʻi Thrush
Scientific Name: Myadestes myadestinus

Size: 8 inches (20 cm)

Habitat: Oceania; endemic to Kaua`i in the Hawaiian Islands (USA). Originally inhabited forest at all elevations, but after the 1920s it was restricted to dense montane forest.

Status: Extinct (2004) Global Population: 0. It was the most common of the forest birds in 1891 but, by 1928, had disappeared from the lower altitudes and became restricted to dense montane forest in the Alaka`i Wilderness Preserve. During 1968-1973, its population was estimated at 337 while, in 1981, an estimated 24 individuals were present. The last probable sighting was in 1989, and since then there have been several unconfirmed reports but no confirmed detections despite numerous intensive surveys in areas formerly occupied, particularly in 1995 and 1997. It now seems appropriate to reclassify this species as Extinct as there seems little reasonable doubt that the last individual has died. However, it is worth noting that Myadestes palmeri went many years without being seen, but then began to reappear in small numbers.

Disease carried by introduced mosquitoes and the destruction and degradation of forests are likely to have been the chief causes of extinction. The advance of feral pigs into pristine upland forests degraded habitat and facilitated the spread of mosquitoes. Competition with introduced birds may have exacerbated the problems faced by this species. Deprived of lowland forest the species was also exposed to the effects of hurricane damage of upland forest, which severely disrupted portions of native forest and allowed the germination and expansion of noxious weeds. Also potentially detrimental to the remaining suitable habitat was the introduction of new alien invertebrates, such as the two-spotted leafhopper (Sophonia rufofascia), which may have threatened many food plants of M. myadestinus.

Diet: Fruit and insects.

Breeding: The male and female of the species looked similar. They were usually solitary, but individuals could be found in pairs throughout the year, with pair bonds lasting at least one breeding season. Courtship behavior was most often seen between January and March, with most breeding taking place between April and August. Females were responsible for both nest construction and incubation of one or two eggs. The nest was a woven mix of twigs and fiber. Incubation lasted for about 16 days, and the young remained in the nest for about 19 days before fledging. Both sexes fed nestlings, and both adults provided parental care for more than three weeks after young birds left the nest.

Cool Facts: Its song was a complex melody composed of flute-like notes, liquid warbles, buzzy trills, and gurgling whistles. The call was a raspy "braak," with an alternate high pitched note similar to a police whistle. The bird occurred in the understory of densely vegetated gulches, where it often perched motionlessly in a hunched posture. Like other native Hawaiian thrushes, it often quivered its wings.

Found in Songbird ReMix Hawai'i

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