Anianiau

Viridonia parvus

TAXONOMY

Viridonia parvus Stejneger, 1887. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Lesser amakihi; French: Hemignathe anianiau; German: Anianiau; Spanish: Anianiau.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.5 in (11.4 cm); 0.32-0.35 oz (9-10 g). Smallest living bird species of Hawaii. Compact build, looks almost spherical when perching. Bill is small, thin, and slightly downturned. Male is bright yellow over most of body, with white rump and slightly darker wings; female duller.

DISTRIBUTION

Widespread in mountain forests of Kauai Island.

HABITAT

Variety of habitats, from dry valleys to rain-soaked Alakai area.

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Viridonia parvus

Resident

Himatione sanguínea I Resident

BEHAVIOR

Lively and active, hops along branches while foraging, seldom or never descends to the ground. Bonded male and female pair will defend a small territory about the nest site, the tree itself, or larger surrounding area up to 25-30 ft (7.6-9 m) across. Males chase off conspecific interlopers, tolerate other species up to a critical distance from the nest. Females join in repelling intruders only if they come too close to the nest. Song is melodious, high-pitched trill rendered "weesee" or "weesity" in sets of four; call is musical, high-pitched "orps-seet."

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Prefers to forage above 1,968 ft (600 m) but may range as low as 330 ft (100 m); sips nectar and gleans insects. Forage and feed mostly as individuals, also operate in bonded pairs, family groups, and flocks at favorite nectar sites. May also join in mixed foraging and feeding flocks with akeke'e (Loxops caeruleirostris) and akikiki (Oreomystis bairdi).

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Pairs build nests from February to late May, eggs laid between March and June; young fledge between early April and early July.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Tolerates considerable habitat disturbance and maintains a stable population estimated at 24,000.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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