Telespiza persecutrix James & Olson

Kauai Finch (Telespiza persecutrix)  

The Kauai Finch was described based on subfossil remains which were collected from deposits on the islands of Kaua’i and O’ahu in the Hawaiian Islands. 

This extinct species shared its habitat with the two still surviving species of the genus, the Laysan Finch (Telespiza cantans (Wilson)) (see photo) and the Nihoa Finch (Telespiza ultima (Bryan)). [1]


The Laysan Finch today is restricted to the island of Laysan in the far northwest of the Hawaiian Islands chain but was far more widespread in prehistorical times as is proven by finds of subfossil remains on the islands of Moloka’ and O’ahu, the same applies to the Nihoa Finch, which today only survives on the tiny island of Nihoa, but whose subfossil remains were also recovered from the island of Moloka’i. 



[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  


Laysan Finch (Telespiza cantans)  

Photo: Kim Starr & Forest Starr; by courtesy of Kim Starr & Forest Starr


edited: 17.06.2020