Reproductive ecology and demography of the 'Akohekohe

By: , and 



The ‘Ākohekohe (Palmeria dolei) is an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper endemic to the montane rain forests of east Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. We investigated ‘Ākohekohe nesting ecology using color-banded birds for the first time as a background to understanding the species' conservation. From 1994–1997, we color-banded 78 individuals, located and monitored 46 active nests, and took behavioral data during 534 hr of nest observation at Hanawī Natural Area Reserve, near the center of the species' range. ‘Ākohekohe nesting behavior and life history closely resembled that of ‘Apapane (Himatione sanguinea) and related honeycreepers. The birds were monogamous within and among years, and we found no evidence of polyandry, polygyny, or helpers at the nest. The nesting season extended from November to early June. Females performed all incubation and brooding. Males provisioned females and nestlings, and they were more active than females in feeding fledglings during the two-week period of parental dependency. Modal clutch size, as determined from egg counts at three nests and by counting begging chicks at other nests, was two eggs, and parents frequently fledged two chicks. We found an overall nest success rate of 68% by the Mayfield method, a high rate compared with other Hawaiian honeycreepers and continental passerines. An average of 1.1 chicks fledged per active nest, and at least 42% of nesting pairs made two or more nesting attempts per season. Rats (Rattus spp.) were abundant at the study site, and we confirmed their depredating some ‘Ākohekohe nests, so we did not expect to find such a high rate of nest success. The estimated annual probability of adult survival was also high, at 0.95 ± 0.10 (SE).

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Reproductive ecology and demography of the 'Akohekohe
Series title Condor
DOI 10.1650/0010-5422(2001)103[0736:READOT]2.0.CO;2
Volume 103
Issue 4
Year Published 2001
Language English
Publisher Cooper Onithological Society
Description 10 p.
First page 736
Last page 745
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details