The Birds of Hawaii's Hakalau Forest
The rare 'AKIAPOLA'AU feeds on insects and caterpillars living under the bark of trees. Its lower bill is short, straight, and stout. With mouth agape, it is used to chisel (woodpecker style) holes in tree bark. The upper bill is long, curved, and slender, and is used to probe, pierce, and pull prey from the hole. The male is brilliant yellow with a black mask; the female is dull green with a less distinctive mask and a slightly shorter bill.
The 'AKEPA is an insect-eating bird with a short, straight bill. The male is blaze orange and the female is gray-green with tinges of yellow or orange on the breast. Using its crossed bill to open leaf buds, the 'akepa feeds on insects found among the leaves and flowers at the very top of 'ohi'a trees. It is the only Hawaiian honeycreeper that always nests in tree cavities.
Photos: © Jack Jeffrey
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