Fun Hawai'i 'akepa Facts For Kids

Abhijeet Modi
Oct 20, 2022 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
To learn more about this bird, read these Hawaiʻi ʻakepa facts
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

The Hawaiʻi ʻakepa (Loxops coccineus) belongs to the family Fringillidae and genus Loxops. It is known to be a small and rare member of the Hawaiian honeycreepers.

It is found in the Island of Hawaii and the population is distributed across wildlife refuges like Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Kau upper forest areas, and the Hualalai northern slope part.

It was known to arrive at the Hawaiian Islands around four to five million years ago. The habitat of these honeycreepers consists of canopied forests that are closed and forests that have native trees like koa and ohia trees.

The subspecies of the Loxops coccineus are known to be Extinct or nearly Extinct. The pairs or the reproduction system of the Loxops coccineus is known to be monogamous and the breeding starts in March and goes on till September.

The females built the nest and also incubates the eggs for about 14-16 days.

Males and females engage in taking care of the chicks or juveniles for some time after they leave the nest. Juveniles leave the nest after about 16-20 days of hatching.

Males and females are known to have different colored plumage. The males are bright red or orange-colored with brown wings and tails, while the females are green and gray in color with a different colored underside, that is yellow.

Their bills are also yellow in color. Just like other members of this family, they also have a cross bill.

Juveniles look similar to females.

The food of these Hawaiian honeycreepers consists of spiders, caterpillars, insects, and nectar from flowers, and it is believed that while feeding on nectar from the flowers, these honeycreepers help in pollination.

This ʻakepa is known to play an important role in the native avifauna of Hawaii and because of being a part of this avifauna or wildlife of Hawaii, it attracts tourism.

It is quite fascinating to learn about this ʻakepa that is a member of the genus Loxops and if you are interested, read about rock sparrow and roller, too. 

Hawaiʻi ʻAkepa Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Hawaiʻi ʻakepa?

The Hawai'i' ʻakepa is a species of bird.

What class of animal does a Hawaiʻi ʻakepa belong to?

It belongs to the class of Aves of birds.

How many Hawaiʻi ʻakepas are there in the world?

There is no exact count of the population of these birds estimated.

Where does a Hawaiʻi ʻakepa live?

These birds are known to live mainly on Hawai'i Island. The population of these birds is distributed in the range that consists of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Kau upper forest areas, and the Hualalai northern slope part.

What is a Hawaiʻi ʻakepa's habitat?

This bird is known to inhabit canopied forests that are closed and have native trees like koa and ohia trees. Most of this bird's population has been observed to be found at elevations above 4921 ft (1500 m).

Who do Hawaiʻi ʻakepas live with?

These birds can be spotted in flocks often and these flocks can consist of members of their own species and some other species too.

How long does a Hawaiʻi ʻakepa live?

The average lifespan of these birds in the wild is recorded to be around 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Pairs are formed around July and August and these pairs are known to be monogamous. After the pairs are formed, both the males and females look for nesting sites.

Females are known to build nests. Males are known to engage in mating rituals to attract females.

These mating rituals may include aerial displays, circular chase fights, and song bouts.

The breeding takes place in March and ends around September and the female is known to incubate the eggs for about 14-16 days and both the parents are known to feed the young ones. Males are also known to feed the females sometimes and it might happen after the brooding period too.

Both the parents are known to be involved in the care until the young ones become independent and the young ones are known to be dependent on their parents for some more time after leaving the nest. Juveniles or the young ones leave the nest after about 16-20 days of hatching.

What is their conservation status?

This bird species is placed under the Endangered category of conservation status.

Hawaiʻi ʻAkepa Fun Facts

What do Hawaiʻi ʻakepas look like?

The males of this species are known to be red-orange in color which is bright and have brown-colored tails and wings. Females of this species have different colored plumage and have green and gray colored plumage with an underside that is yellow in color.

The bill of this species is known to be laterally symmetrical and yellow in color.

The lower mandible of the bill is known to be bent on one side or is known to be a cross bill. The young ones or the juveniles are known to have plumage similar to that of a female of this species but are known to have a gray underside.

The bills and the plumage of this ʻakepa are some of its recognizable features.

How cute are they?

This bird species is considered cute because of its colorful plumage.

How do they communicate?

This bird species is known to be a songbird and thus, like other songbirds communicate verbally by creating various kinds of sounds and calls.

How big is a Hawaiʻi ʻakepa?

The length of this bird ranges from about 4-5 in (10-13 cm). These are similarly sized or slightly smaller than a chipping sparrow and smaller than a fox sparrow.

How fast can a Hawaiʻi ʻakepa move?

The exact speed of this bird species is unknown, but the wingspan of this bird ranges from 2.32-2.7 in (59-69 mm).

How much does a Hawaiʻi ʻakepa weigh?

The weight of this species is around 0.35-0.42 oz (10-12 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

These species do not have any names assigned for the males and females.

What would you call a baby Hawaiʻi ʻakepa?

In general, babies of these birds or species are referred to as chicks, juveniles, or young ones.

What do they eat?

The main diet of this bird consists of caterpillars. It also tends to feed on spiders and insects and also feeds on nectar. The bill of this bird helps it pry on flowers and buds of leaves.

Are they dangerous?

This ʻakepa bird is not considered dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

While not much information is available about these birds as pets, but it is believed that they would not make great pets as they are wild birds and Endangered.

Did you know...

It is believed that the first bird of this species was collected during Captain James Cook's third voyage of the world by western science from the islands.

The scientific or the binomial name of this bird, Loxops coccineus is derived from Latin and means 'crossed' and 'red'.

A group of honeycreepers is referred to as a hive of honeycreepers.

The Oahu subspecies of this bird, which are found in other parts of neighboring islands are known to be Extinct and the other subspecies, that is Maui, is also considered to be either Extinct or very rare.

It is known to only use existing cavities and thus, is known to be an obligate cavity nester.

The call can be described as a quivering whistle that ends with a long chirp or trill.

Potential predators include some introduced animal species like Polynesian rats, domestic cats, Indian mongoose, and brown rats. Some potential natural predators include Hawaiian hawks and bird-eating owls.

It is believed that this honeycreeper is an important part of the Hawaiian avifauna or wildlife which is native and plays an important role in attracting tourism.

These Hawaiian honeycreepers might help in pollinating flowers when they feed on nectar.

Is the Hawaiʻi ʻakepa endemic?

Yes, this species is known to be endemic to the Island of Hawaii and the nearby range.

Why is the Hawaiʻi ʻakepa Endangered?

This species was declared Endangered in 1975. The main reason for its Endangered status is habitat destruction due to forest clearing and logging. Other reasons that have led to the decline in the population of this species include the introduction of some species that are predators or potential predators of this bird.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our belted kingfisher facts and western kingbird.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable hawaii akepa coloring pages.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

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Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

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Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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