Tag Archives: Phaeornis lanaiensis Wilson

Myadestes lanaiensis ssp. lanaiensis (Wilson)

Lanai Thrush (Myadestes lanaiensis ssp. lanaiensis)  

The Lanai Thrush was described in 1891. This thrush, which the Hawaiians called Oloma’o or Olomau, was restricted to the islands that formerly formed Maui-nui: Lana’i, Maui, and Moloka’i, Hawaiian Islands, with each of these islands harboring its own endemic subspecies respectively.  

All of them are now extinct.  

The specimens from Lanai, the island from which Wilson’s type came, are as a rule much white below, and the majority of them have the brown of the back somewhat less bright. As the measurements of their wings show, there is also a decided tendency to longer wings in the Molokai birds, but the longest of those from Lanai surpass several of those from Molokai. There is nothing extraordinary in it if we assume that the Phaeornis, inhabiting also low-lying regions, crosses from Lanai to Molokai, and therefore is the same species on both islands … The Olomao, as it is called, both on Lanai and Molokai, is not rare on both these islands, and Palmer saw it in the lowland as well as at the highest elevations. In the stomachs he found seeds and berries of different plants. When seen on a tree they were generally shaking their wings or “trembling,” as Palmer calls it. They have that clear call-note peculiar to this group, and also another deep hoarse cry. Their song is “of a jerky nature,” and consists of several clear notes.” [1]  

***

The Lanai Thrush disappeared soon after the establishment and subsequent development of Lana’i City in the center of the island in 1923, it was last seen only 10 years later in 1933.  

***

The Oloma’o certainly also inhabited the island of Kaho’olawe, probably with another endemic subspecies, before the island was completely devastated.  

*********************  

References:  

[1] W. Rothschild: The Avifauna of Laysan and the neighbouring islands with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian possession. 1893-1900  

*********************    

bird on bottom; together with Large Kauai Thrush (Myadestes myadestinus (Stejneger))

Depiction from: ‘Scott B. Wilson; A. H. Wilson; Frederick William Frohawk; Hans Gadow: Aves Hawaiienses: the birds of the Sandwich Islands. London: R.H. Porter 1890-1899’  

(not in copyright)  

*********************  

edited: 01.04.2018