Oloma'o

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Image:Olomao.JPG

Hawaiian Name: olomaʻo
Common Name: Lānaʻi Thrush
Scientific Name: Myadestes lanaiensis

Size: 7 inches (18 cm)

Habitat: Oceania; endemic to Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi in the Hawaiian Islands (USA). Originally inhabited forest at all elevations, but since 1920s restricted to dense montane forest.

Status: Possibly Extinct (1980). Global Population: Unknown. The olomaʻo is still classified as Critically Endangered due to the possibility that an extremely small population or individuals may still exist. The last definitive sighting occurred on Molokaʻi in 1980 in the Kamakou Preserve, and in 1933 on Lānaʻi. In the late 19th century, it was considered common to abundant on the three islands, but land clearing, including the establishment and subsequent development of Lānaʻi City, and avian malaria brought on by introduced mosquitoes decimated the birds. Introduced animals such as feral pigs (which create pools from their wallows for breeding mosquitoes) also aided in its demise.

The Kamakou Preserve and neighboring land have been partially fenced and control programs exist for feral ungulates. The Oloku`i Natural Area, established in 1986, protects pristine native forest where M. lanaiensis may persist. Should it be rediscovered, consideration should be given to establishing a captive population at high elevation on East Maui, where the habitat is relatively intact and free of threat from mosquitoes and avian disease.

Diet: Fruit and insects.

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

Cool Facts: Its song consists of a complex melody of flute-like notes, liquid warbles, and gurgling whistles. The call is a catlike rasp," with an alternate high pitched note similar to a police whistle. This bird occurs in densely vegetated gulches, frequenting the understory where it often perches motionless in a hunched posture. Like other native Hawaiian thrushes, it quivers its wings and feeds primarily on fruit and insects.

Mau'i birds may have constituted a separate subspecies or race, but became extinct before any studies could be performed. Two subspecies are recognized:

M. l. lanaiensis - Lānaʻi Thrush
M. l. rutha - Molokaʻi Thrush


Found in Songbird ReMix Hawai'i

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