There are some birds that just have a bubbly optimism to them, and this is one of them. Inquisitive, active, and a versatile hunter of insects and spiders, the 'Elepaio is a wonderful bird to get acquainted with. Just the way it cocks its tail feathers makes it look as if it is posing a question. Don't be surprised if you see one flit down to the lower branches to check out what you are doing. The 'Elepaio belongs to the Old World Flycather Family, and is considered one of the most adaptable of Hawaii's native birds. They are generally recognized by small size and long tails; brown, black, white and rufus coloring; and white wingbars. It is said to mate for life and are loyal to the territory they choose. The female sings, and this is uncommon for songbirds.
'Elepaio are found on three of the MHI: Kauai, Oahu, and the Big Island, and were considered one species, but have since been split into three subspecies of Chasiempis sandwichensis: C.s.sclateri on Kauai, C.s. ibidis on Oahu, and C.s.sandwishensis on the Big island. It is not clear why they are absent from Maui Nui. The populations on the Big Island and Kauai seem to be faring well, adapting to a range of habitats, but the Oahu 'Elepaio was placed on the Endangered List in 2000, with limited ranges in the Wai'anae and Ko'olau mountains. In early July of this year (2013) the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that Hawaii has received a grant to purchase some 635 acres of critical habitat for the Ohau 'Elepaio. The 'Aiea Ridge Trail falls entirely within this area, and is a great place to go and see this endemic treasure, as well as several important plant species.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.