Known in the Hawaiian language as “I’iwi,” this beautiful, red, honeycreeper (Vestiaria coccinea) is endemic to the Hawaiian islands. The bird’s long, bent bill is perfectly suited to their favorite food, the nectar of the native ohi’a lehua tree. I’iwi are one of only a handful of birds that can hover like a hummingbird.
Recent counts put the population of the I’iwi at around 350,000, which is better than many bird species in Hawaii. They live throughout the islands with the largest populations on the islands of Hawai’i and Kaua’i.
The bright red feathers were highly regarded by Hawaiian nobility for making ahu’ula and mahi’ole (colorful cloaks and helmets).
From the Photographer:
“The ʻIʻiwi bird or ‘Hawaiian Honeycreeper’ spends its day drinking nectar out of the flowers in Haleakala National Park.”