Chloridops wahi James & Olson

Wahi Grosbeak (Chloridops wahi)  

This species was described in 1991 from subfossil bones that were recovered from the Pu’u Naio Cave on Maui, as well as from Barber’s Point at the southwestern tip of O’ahu, and from the crater deposits at Ulupau Head, Mokapu Peninsula on the southeastern coast of O’ahu.  

The species certainly inhabited the islands of Kaho’olawe, Lana’i, and Moloka’i as well.  

The Wahi Grosbeak was closely related to the Kona Grosbeak (Chloridops kona Wilson), but was smaller, reaching a size of about 13 to 14,5 cm. [1]  


The birds may have fed on the very hard seeds of the Hawaiian endemic a’e trees (Zanthoxylon spp.), whose subfossil seeds were found in the same deposits. [2]  



[1] S. L. Olson; H. F. James: Descriptions of thirty-two new species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: Part II. Passeriformes. Ornithological Monographs 45: 1-91. 1991 
[2] Storrs L. Olson:  A hard nut to crack: rapid evolution in the Kona Grosbeak of Hawaii for a locally abundant food source (Drepanidini: Chloridops kona). The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 126(1): 1-8. 2014  


edited: 30.10.2017