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The `Apapane is one of the few endemic Honeycreepers that can be found easily in the Hawaiian Ohia rain forests. Their morning choruses are amazing thing to hear in person. At the day's first light, the silence of the morning is broken by the Apapane's cheerful sounding whistle. From another tree, It's call is anwsered by a very quiet but complex call as the misty forest awkens. Soon, the morning air is filled with a surreal symphony of the calls of `Apapane and other native Hawaiian birds like Amakihi and Oma`o.

`Apapane use a wide array of complex vocalizations. Their ethusiastic calls are melodious whistles and chirps that can sound similar to a sound effect used for a robot in a 60's science fiction movie while other calls are so quiet that they are appropriately referred to as "whisper calls". The feathers on the Apapane's wings create a noticable whirring sound when in flight. Like The I'iwi, the adult male and female are similar in appearance.

`Apapane are usually fairly difficult to photograph. During the day, these small birds are fast on the move through the dense canopy of Ohia and Koa trees in search of insects and nectar from Ohia blossoms. They vocalize constantly as they hop from flower to flower with what seems to be endless energy. `Apapane are seldom still for more than a few seconds. One of the best times to view them is just before sunset, when a few `Apapane may perch atop a high tree and sing for several minutes, proclaiming ownership of their territory to the other birds of the forest.

This photograph was taken along the slopes of Hualalai Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The `Apa had been foraging for small insects in a four foot tall Ohia Lehua tree that had no blossoms at the time. The photograph shows the bird, toungue out, with it's right wing extended just before it appeared to hop into the air and fly off to another Ohia.

 

NATIVE HAWAIIAN BIRDS >