Hawaiʻi Mamo

Hawaiʻi Mamo

Hawaiʻi Mamo


  • Common Name: Hawaiʻi mamo or  ‘ō’ō nuku umu or ‘ō’ō mamo 
  • Scientific Name:  Drepanis pacifica 


No recordings available. “The call was described as a single rather long and plaintive note” (Banko 1979). 

Conservation Status 

Extinct. Last seen in the wild in 1898.

Species Information 

The Hawa’i mamo was one of Hawaiʻi’s most unique forest bird species. This is due to their black and yellow feathers as well as the fact that only 11 specimens were ever discovered (Banko 1979). Juvenilles were believed to have slightly more brown plumage than their adult counterparts (Olson 2009). Their unique plumage included highly prized yellow feathers. These yellow feathers were picked by Native Hawaiians for making the war cloaks (ʻahu ʻula) of ruling chiefs (Brigham 1899). Similar to the black mamo, Hawai’i mamo’s long curved bill enabled the consumption of nectar from plants such as ‘ōhiʻa and lobeliads (Banko 1979). The last spotting of this rare bird was in 1898. 


Hawai’i Island  


Pyle wrote that the Hawaiʻi mamo “may have only inhabited lower elevations, which is why it did not survive long after western afflictions, in particular avian malaria, had permeated the lowland forests” (ʻElepaio 33:15, in Pyle & Pyle 2017).


Pyle & Pyle (2017) indicate that there are differing opinions on how much the collection of feathers impacted the population, and that avian malaria was likely a primary threat (see Pyle & Pyle 2017 for references).


Additional Resources 

Pyle, R.L., and P. Pyle. 2017. The Birds of the Hawaiian Islands: Occurrence, History, Distribution, and Status. B.P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI, U.S.A. Version 2 (1 January 2017) http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/birds/rlp-monograph

Banko, W. E. 1979. History of endemic Hawaiian birds [sic] specimens in museum collections. Coop. Natl. Park Resources Study Unit, Univ. of Hawaii, Avian Hist. Rep. 2: 1–80. 

Brigham, W. T. 1899. Hawaiian feather work. Mem. B. P. Bishop Mus. l(1): l-8 1. 

Olson, S. L., & Hume, J. P. (2009). Notes on early illustrations and the juvenile plumage of the extinct Hawaii Mamo Drepanis pacifica (Drepanidini). Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 129, 206-212.