Palila Forest Discovery Trail

Hawai‘i ‘Elepaio

Mauna Kea ‘Elepaio

Chasiempis sandwichensis bryani,


The Mauna Kea subspecies of the Hawai‘i ‘Elepaio is only found in the high-elevation dry forest around you. It is distinct from other ‘elepaio on Hawai‘i Island in its heavily white-speckled face and contrasting dark browns. These ‘elepaio also tend to behave more elusive than the famously curious species on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu; often one can only hear and not see them in the shaded understory.

The ‘elepaio are an important bird in Hawaiian culture. It is said that the ‘elepaio, being insect eaters, indicate which koa (Acacia koa) trees are not suitable for hewing into canoes.