Cornforth Images


The ‘I’iwi (Vestiaria coccinea) or Scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper is a native Hawaiian bird and is a highly recognizable symbol of Hawaii. The ‘I’iwi is the third most common native land bird in the Hawaiian Islands. The adult ‘I’iwi is mostly fiery red, with black wings and tail and a long curved salmon-colored bill used primarily for drinking nectar. The main threat to the ‘I’iwi and other native Hawaiian birds has been the spread of introduced diseases, particularly avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum), which is spread by mosquitoes. Thus, the ‘I’iwi generally survives at higher elevations where temperatures are too cool for mosquitoes.