Tag Archives: Psittiacirostra flaviceps (Rothschild)

Rhodacanthis flaviceps Rothschild

Lesser Koa-Finch (Rhodacanthis flaviceps)

The Lesser Koa Finch was already almost extinct when it was discovered by European ornithologists in 1892; it was only found only once, in its type locality, a place called Pu’u Lehua in the lowlands of the northern Kona District almost in the middle of the western coast of Hawai’i.

It was found in mixed flocks with Greater Koa-Finches (Rhodacanthis palmeri Rothschild) feeding on the seeds of koa acacias (Acacia koa A. Gray), eight specimens were taken back than by bird collectors, which did not recognize that they were dealing with two distinct species at that time. [1]


The species reached a size of about 19 cm; males had bright yellow heads and bellies, while females were nearly completely green colored. [1]


The Lesser Koa-Finch was never found again since so was probably extinct already shortly after. [1]



[1] H. Douglas Pratt: The Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Drepanidinae. Oxford Univ. Pr. 2005


Depiction from: ‘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’ 

(public domain)


edited: 07.10.2020