ʻŌʻō nuku umu: Black Mamo

ʻŌʻō nuku umu: Black Mamo

ʻŌʻō Nuku Umu


  • ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi: Mamo, or ʻōʻō nuku umu  
  • Common Name: Black Mamo 
  • Scientific Name:  Drepanis funerea


No available recordings. The ʻōʻō nuku umu is documented as having a loud and clear call, to be repeated in short intervals (Banko 1979).  

Conservation Status 

Extinct. Last confirmed sighting in 1907.

Species Information  

Black mamo, also known as ‘Ō’ō nuku umu is an extinct Hawaiian honeycreeper. The dark coloration of black mamo is unusual foliage for honeycreepers (Amadon 1986). Hawaiian Honeycreepers are typically noted as haivng orange, yellow and red foliage. Native Hawaiians commonly used the feathers of honeycreeprs to make robes, to inclue the ‘Ō’ō (Amadon 1986). The process of defeathering these species contributed to their population decline. As observed in other honeycreepers, the long and narrow curved beak of the Black Mamo matches with specific fruit trees. Specifically, the Black Mamo’s beak fits with aborescent lobelioids flowers (Pratt 2005). This adaptation alludes to their food source. The last known sighting of this Honeycreeper was in Molokai, 1907.  




Black mamo preferrerd the fruits found in small trees and shrubs, such as Hawaiian lobeliads (Perkins 1903). This food source was found in high elevation forests (Banko 1979).   


Although the exact cause of extinction is uncertain, the Black Mamo was likely were susceptible to the same factors that threaten other native Hawaiian forest birds including loss and degradation of habitat, predation by introduced mammals, and disease. 


Black Mamo, ʻōʻō nuku umu

John Gerrard Keulemans (via Wikimedia, Public Domain)

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)

Amadon, D. (1986). The Hawaiian honeycreepers revisited.‘. Elepaio, 46, 83-84. 

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. 

Perkins, R. C. L. 1903. Vertebrata. Pp. 365-466 in D. Sharp (ed.). Fauna Hawaiiensis. Vol. 1, part IV. The University Press, Cambridge, England. 

Pratt, H. D. (2005). The hawaiian honeycreepers: Drepanidinae. OUP Oxford.