'ApapanePhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Himatione sanguinea

The ‘apapane (Himatione sanguinea) is a species of Hawaiian honeycreeper that is endemic to Hawaii. Their bright crimson feathers once adorned the ‘ahu’ula (capes), mahiole (helmets), and nā lei hulu (feather leis) of the ali’i (Hawaiian nobility).

‘Apapane form small flocks when foraging through the canopies of ‘ōhi’a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) trees. There, they drink flower nectar. At the same time, these birds pollinating the flowers.

The bird is an active singer. The males, for example, sing at all times of the day. They have six different calls and about ten different recorded song patterns.

The contact call, or song of the male, attracts female for breeding. The male who is most aggressive and sings the loudest is the one who wins the females’ attention. Once courtship and pair formation has been established, and copulation is complete, both male and female are involved in the nesting process. The male feeds the female during nest construction and the incubation period. Furthermore, the male sings continuously during incubation, while the female does not sing at all. His loud whistling, and chirping sound chases other male birds away. Meanwhile, he sits on an adjacent perch guarding the nest.

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