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Hawaii. Endemic. Currently only found above the elevation of approximately 5000 feet on the Island of Hawai'i (Big Island).
The strict SM intrepretation of this bird is as Akiapolaau (Hemignathus wilsoni). The use of wilsoni in a broader genus Hemignathus is already preoccupied as a subspecific taxon name of Hawaii Amakihi, i.e., Hemignathus virens wilsoni. Therefore, the use of wilsoni as a specific taxon name is incorrect. The consensus in taxonomic circles is to use the specific taxon name - munroi - for this bird.
Forests with koa (Acacia koa) and ohi'a-lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) trees.
It creeps along trunks and branches.
They build their nests in branches of ohi'a-lehua trees.
The diet includes grubs and arthropods. They utilize a woodpecker-like foraging behavior. They peck at branches with the lower mandible to expose burrowing grubs. Once the grub's burrow has been opened with the lower mandible, they use the upper mandible to probe into the burrow and extract the grub. They can often be located by listening for the sound of their pecking on koa or ohia trees.
Song is a loud, rapid-fire warble.
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