I AM AN I'IWI

- BY LUKE MCKICKIN'

Greetings!

Hi, I am an immortal I’iwi. I am a form of Hawaiian Honeycreeper and I have come to you today to explain how my everyday life goes. Just like humans, a lot of events go into my day. I have to eat, keep my feathers looking mighty fine, fly aimlessly around my natural habitat, and ponder on about the meaningless goals of life that we all follow. Let’s get started, shall we?!

My Diet!

What is one of the most basic instincts that both birds and you humans share? Hunger! For me, an I’iwi, I eat seeds! Well, at least I used to… Then after that, I started eating insects, and now I’ve moved onto a diet that is almost entirely made up of nectar. Thanks to my long bill, getting that nectar is an easy task, and can even win me a little extra. My favorite flowers to feed off of are Hawaiian Lobelioids.

My Glorious Appearance!

Now, being an immortal I’iwi, I have a fine appearance to keep in tip-top shape. I’m a smaller bird, so thankfully cleaning isn’t that hard. However, I prefer to clean each individual section. First, I tend to the crimson feathers that surround my entire body. Then, I turn my attention the the black feathers that line my wings and tail. Finally, I make sure my stunted legs (which reduce drag while I’m in the air, by the way) are not broken and/or non existent.

Migration, Habitats, Adaptation, Oh my!

Obviously, being an immortal bird thing, I have had to do my fair share of migrating. My fellow I’iwi and I are altitudinal migrants, which means we stay on higher altitudes to avoid low-altitude diseases and bacteria. Thankfully, all of our food is found on higher elevations so we do not need to fly any lower than we prefer. Of course, when I say “high elevations” I don’t mean Mount Everest or anything. We I’iwi stick to the canopies of forests located on Hawaiian islands. In these habitats, we have adapted to the point where our beaks can reach right into the nectar heart of the flowers we feed off of, as well as produce threatening sounds to predators and a mating call. However, despite all of this, my kind are labeled as vulnerable, due to our small numbers.

My Ancestors...

My kind comes from the Eurasian Rosefinch. What’s special about our ancestor is that they would fly in groups and explore. These groups were multigender, so if they ever found a place with plentiful amounts of food then they would stay there and reproduce and live there. One day they got thrown off their course and ended up in Hawaii. That is how I got here!
Carl Orff - O Fortuna ~ Carmina Burana