By J.S.


  • Finch-like bird
  • 10 cm in length
  • Cone-shaped beak
  • Males have red-orange feathers and dark wings (Glenn)
  • Females have grayish-green feathers and a yellow-orange belly (Glenn)
  • Communicate with quiet calls and short songs

Food Chain and Habitat

  • Prefers to live in wet forests above 3000 feet (now mostly 5000-6000) (EPA)
  • Nests in tree cavities in old-growth Ohia/Koa trees, whose populations have both decreased
  • Diet includes insects and nectar (Wikipedia)
  • Competes with invasive birds, such as the Japanese white-eye, for food
  • Eaten by introduced predators


  • Cross-bill for prying open leaf buds and extracting caterpillars (Wikipedia)
  • Lives at a high elevation to avoid mosquito-transmitted diseases (EPA)
  • So far has not been able to adapt well against invasive competitor species
  • Brushy tongue tip and ability to roll it up for feeding on nectar (EOL)
  • Wings for flying

Reasons For Endangerment

  • The Japanese white-eye competes with the Akepa for food
  • The Akepa has a disadvantage since the Japanese white-eye nests and raises their young earlier (AAAS)
  • Chewing lice and increased disease and parasites are problems
  • The Akepa are threatened by non-native predators
  • New-born Akepas now often have stunted growth and are underweight (AAAS)