Hawaiian Honeycreepers

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hawaiian Honeycreepers


(Drepanididae), a family of birds of the order Passeriformes. The body is 11-21 cm long. Hawaiian honeycreepers are greenish, yellow, red, or black. All of them have a musky smell. The birds are a remarkable example of adaptive radiation within one family: in correlation with their predominant food (nectar and flower pollen, insects, or seeds), some species of Hawaiian honeycreepers have a thin, curved beak, others have an awllike beak, and still others have a massive beak like a parrot’s. The birds are found in trees and shrubs. There are 21 species, found only on the Hawaiian Islands.


Baldwin, P. H. “Annual Cycle, Environment and Evolution in the Hawaiian Honeycreepers.” University of California Publications in Zoology, 1953, vol. 52, pp. 285-398.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
While Hawaiian honeycreepers generally boast feathers in exotic colors, the Poo-uli is a study in muted tones of brown, gray, and white.
"My feeling on the Poo-uli is that they are not allied with the Hawaiian honeycreepers," he says, adding, "I don't know what they are:'
She's collected fossils of 14 different types of extinct Hawaiian honeycreepers. One of those ancient skeletons resembles the bones of the modern-day Poo-uli, James says.
Avian biologists believe Hawaiian honeycreepers evolved from a single flock of birds, probably finches, that flew from Asia or North America to the islands of Hawaii millions of years ago.
For more than a decade, taxonomists had classified this chunky, short-tailed bird as part of the Hawaiian honeycreeper family, which gives off an odor resembling that of a musty canvas tent.
To sniff out the undisputed Hawaiian honeycreeper, Pratt had an assistant place specimens of dead honeycreepers and a Poo-uli in opaque cloth bags.
However, the bird's oddities argue against its inclusion within the Hawaiian honeycreeper family, he says.

Full browser ?