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Adult males are a bright orange.
Hawaii. 'Akepa are most greatly concentrated in the Pua 'Akala tract of Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge on the windward slope of Mauna Kea, and along the upper edge of the Ka'u forest reserve on the South slope of Mauna Loa. Reforestation efforts in the Keauhou Ranch and Kulani Correctional Facility properties on the upper windward slope of Mauna Loa will improve another important population center. They can occasionally be observed just North of this area in large kipukas on the Mauna Loa-Mauna Kea saddle, along Powerline Road.
Small pockets of 'akepa persisted until recent decades in central Kona on the leeward slope of Mauna Loa, and on the North slope of Hualalai.
The 'akepa gleans insects from the outer leaves of branches near the crowns of 'ohi'a trees, using the crossed tips of its bill to open budding leaves.
They prefer to live near large old 'ohi'a trees that have natural nesting cavities.
'Akepa have a high weak voice. The male's song is a short weak descending trill, of variable tempo which often slows midway through. Juvenile begging calls are a persistent soft wit-wit wit-wit wi-wi-wit.
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