Saturday, June 6, 2015

O’ahu ‘Elepaio

O’ahu ‘Elepaio
Watercolor, Pen and Ink on Arches 140lb. Hot Press
Matted in a 5x7'' Ivory Matt
Chasiempis sandwichensis

Three distinct subspecies of the ‘Elepaio bird occur separately on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii.  Because of forest clearing, introduced disease, and predators such as the black rat, the Oahu subspecies, O’ahu ‘Elepaio, is listed on the endangered species list.  Measuring up to 5.5 inches (14 cm), the ‘Elepaio feeds on insects.  The ‘Elepaio is a curios bird, and has been known to follow hikers through forests.  Anciently, the ‘Elepaio bird was used in the selection of Koa trees for canoe construction.  If an ‘Elepaio pecked at a tree, then it probably meant that the tree was full of insects and would rot.  Hawaiians regard the ‘Elepaio as the guardian spirit of canoe-makers.     

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