Cyanerpes cyaneus

The Red Legged Honeycreeper

The Life of A Red Legged Honeycreeper

When I wake up I feel hungry because of how I warm myself during the night. The worms, fruit, and nectar I ate yesterday are metabolized quickly and turned into heat to keep my body warm. I also slow my breathing when I sleep so the cold air can’t cool me down as much. As I open my eyes I look down at my feathers to see that the color on my feathers has worn away to reveal a bright blue undercoat on my chest. I lift up my wings to see that my light green under me has decayed into a vibrant yellow. Looking further to my back I see black splotches along my spine and wings. It’s mating season!

I fly away from the forest edge toward the fruit trees a few miles away. While flying there I like to glide for half the trip making little thrusts every few seconds. To another bird it would look like I’m bouncing up and down in the air trying to have fun in flight. When I reach the fruit trees I see several dozen if my kind already there with more coming for breakfast. I find a cluster of arillate fruit husks and start picking bugs and pulp out with my long bill. After I’m finished with the fruit husks I start looking for flowers. The nectar in the flowers is really sweet and filling, plus it takes almost no time and energy to metabolize the syrup making it a great dessert.

As I fly around I notice that there are more clearings in areas that didn’t have them before. Flying over the cleared areas is really shocking hundreds of trees were cut perfectly near the ground. What kind of animal could have done this and for what purpose? These trees could have housed not only my species but other birds as well. My species Is in no danger of dying out but deforestation does have an impact on us.

It would be ideal if there were more trees around to combat deforestation. Deforestation is the biggest threat to me and my species. Several thousand years ago my ancestors lived on Hawaii but moved because there wasn’t enough food and land. Other Honey creepers could also eat insects sip nectar and eat fruit so our beaks adapted to make up for the competition. In every way I share the traits from my ancestors because there hasn’t been a need for different traits and talents.

The last common ancestor that I shared between my species and every other on Hawaii started with the Rose finch. Over thousands of years ago the Rose finch adapted to every environment within its range and diversified into thousands of different species. Traits that became useful or interesting turned into our long beaks, our metabolism and sexual dimorphism. This could be because of how my ancestors favored bright mating colors or if two species splitting away from each other reunited leaving the males in a colorful state