Mao honey eater

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Mao honey eater
USFWS Gymnomyza samoensis R. Stirnemann (21868973260) .jpg

Mao honey eater ( Gymnomyza samoensis )

Order : Passerines (Passeriformes)
Subordination : Songbirds (passeri)
Superfamily : Meliphagoidea
Family : Honeyeater (Meliphagidae)
Genre : Gymnomyza
Type : Mao honey eater
Scientific name
Gymnomyza samoensis
( Hombron & Jacquinot , 1841)

The Mao-Honigfresser ( Samoan : Mao or Ma'oma'o , Gymnomyza samoensis ) is a Samoan species from the family of honeyeater (Meliphagidae). The species is endemic to the Samoan Islands and is considered endangered . In 2014 he was accepted into the ESA program by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service .


The Mao is a great representative of the honey eater. It becomes 28–31 cm long. The plumage is dark and varies in color from blackish on the head and chest to olive-green on the wings and body. There is a dark greenish spot under the eye. The beak is long, curved and black in the adult and yellowish in the chicks and juvenile birds. Legs and feet are also black. Adult birds have light blue or brown eyes. All juveniles have a brown iris. When walking on trunks and branches, it sets up its tail in a characteristic way.


The birds are very loud and make nice whistling noises and meowing sounds shortly before sunrise and at dusk. Breeding pairs also perform complex duets.


Nests are built in the branches of trees at different heights. A single whitish, brown-spotted egg is placed in a simple bowl-shaped nest made of sticks. The chick stays in the nest for about 1 month. During this time it is fed on small lizards, such as geckos , and insects. After leaving the nest, the young animal remains in the vicinity of the nest and is fed by the female for another 2–2 ½ months. During this time, the young animal follows the female and utters loud begging cries .


There are still populations on Upolu and Savai'i . The population on Tutuila is apparently extinct. The birds are usually found in mountain forests, but have also been observed in bushland and in coconut palms on the coast. It is estimated that there are 250–999 birds remaining, but the population appears to be declining. The species is threatened by the destruction of forests and the spread of alien enemies, such as rats.

Individual evidence

  1. “a large, dusky olive-green honeyeater native to Upolu and Savaii, Independent Samoa (Samoa), and Tutuila Island, American Samoa, but now only found in small populations on the islands of Savaii and Upolu." Christina Meister: US Fish and Wildlife Service Releases 2014 List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act Protection . Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  2. a b Mao Gymnomyza samoensis . Birdlife International . Retrieved May 30, 2018.


  • H. Douglas Pratt, Philip L. Bruner, Delwyn G. Berrett: A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific , Princeton University Press, Chichester 1987.
  • Dick Watling : A Guide to the Birds of Fiji & Western Polynesia , Environmental Consultants (Fiji), Suva 2001.

Web links