IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Biology

The 'Akiapola'au is a honeycreeper which drills three to five millimetre deep holes in 'ohi'a trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) to drink the sap within (5). It also uses its unique bill to pick out arthropods from beneath the bark of koa (Acacia koa) and other species (6). Individuals are faithful to certain trees, with males feeding on the trunks and large branches, whereas females creep along small branches and twigs. Males have slightly longer bills, enabling them to peck into the thicker bark of larger branches (7). This species makes a softer version of the tapping noise characteristic of woodpecker species in other parts of the world (4) (8). This monogamous species occupies very large territories (2) (6), breeding at any time of year (3), but mainly between January and June (9). It builds a nest at the end of a leafy branch of the 'ohi'a tree, which remain home to the chick for a long period before it is mature enough to fledge (2).

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Source: ARKive

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