Anianiau Facts and Photos

Information about the Bird Anianiau

This species seems to be rather distantly related to the typical Hemignathus (the amakihis and nukupuus). It is placed in the monotypic genus Magumma.The anianiau (Magumma parva), pronounced /ninia/, is a species of Hawaiian honeycreeper that is endemic to upper elevation forests on the island of Kauai.

The 'anianiau is a brightly plumaged yellow bird and at 10 centimetres (3.9in) in length, the smallest Hawaiian honeycreeper. The anianiau has a slightly curved bill and a mass of about 10g. The plumage of the female is more uniform and has a duller yellow-green color than the male's bright yellow. Its call is a pair of notes, tew-weet, while its song is a trill of wee-see, wee-see, wee-see.
Anianiau are found in mesic and wet forests at elevations above 600m (2,000ft). The highest densities occur above 1,100m (3,600ft). Dominant tree species in its habitat include koa (Acacia koa), hia lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), lapa (Cheirodendron trigynum), and lapalapa (C. platyphyllum).
The anianiau mainly feeds on nectar from the flowers of plants such as hia lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), helo (Vaccinium spp.), and alani (Melicope spp.). It will also take arthropods from trees, shrubs, or vines.
The anianiau breeding season ranges from February to June. The female makes a small cup-shaped nest of twigs and lichens in an hia tree. Typically, three eggs are laid. The small yellow chicks leave the nest in three weeks, but while in the nest they are fed on a mainly protein diet of caterpillars.
The anianiau was first discovered in the 1830s, but was not seen again for another fifty years. This species was not well studied until the 1960s.
The range of the anianiau has contracted by 85%, as it previously could be found in all forests of Kauai. Habitat degradation and invasion by non-native plants are the most significant threats to this species. Mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as avian malaria and fowlpox, are very rarely observed in captured anianiau, so they may not be a major cause of mortality. Predation by rats and cats is possible but has not been documented. This species is protected in the Alakai Wilderness Preserve and surrounding environs as well as Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Parks.

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