O'ahu 'alauahio

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Image:Oahu alauahio.JPG

Hawaiian Name: Oʻahu ʻalauahio
Common Name: O’ahu Creeper
Scientific Name: Paroreomyza maculata

Size: 4 inches (11 cm)

Habitat: Oceania; Endemic to O`ahu in the Hawaiian Islands (USA), where fossil evidence indicates that it once occurred in the lowlands. In the past few decades, there have only been a few confirmed sightings, with several of these from the area around North Halawa Valley, Ko`olau range. The last well-documented observation was of two birds on December 12, 1985 on Poamoho Trail during the Waipi`o Christmas Bird Count.

Recent sightings have been between 300 and 650 m in remnant native, lowland mesic to wet forest.

Status: Presumed Extinct (1992). Global Population: 0. The species was common there in the late 19th century, but rare by 1930. The last probable sighting was in 1990. The final sightings of this species were in the mid to upper regions of the Ko’olau Mountains between 980 and 2,132 feet, where there is remnant native lowland forest that has been degraded by introduced plants. Extensive surveys by state biologists in 1992 failed to detect the species, which is now considered extinct, although it is still listed as federally endangered.

Deforestation and mosquito-borne avian diseases are likely among the chief reasons for this bird's disappearance. Predation may also have played a role, though there is no evidence to support this theory, since the bird had become so rare even 70 years ago. Presumably Short-eared Owls and introduced cats, rats and mongoose preyed on the birds, and pigs and other domestic ungulates degraded its habitat. Diet: Invertebrates. It foraged on trunks and limbs of trees and shrubs, probing the bark for insects. In the 1890s, it was reported to eat quantities of carabid beetles, most likely wood-borers, as it was seen feeding on the dead branches of koa trees.

Nesting: Small, straight-billed, warbler-like passerine. Male yellow below, olive-green above, with dark lores fading into olive eye-stripe, and distinct yellow forehead and superciliary. Female greenish-grey above, pale yellowish-white below, with two prominent, pale wing-bars, pale lores and forehead, and dark eye-stripe.

Little is known of nesting habits. One nest with two eggs was collected in late January 1901.

Cool Facts: Surveys have been carried out during the 1990s to search for this species, but have failed to find any birds. A "Rare Bird Discovery Protocol" has been developed which could be applied to this species in the event of its rediscovery.

Found in Songbird ReMix Hawai'i

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