- Mao (bird)
Mao Conservation status Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Family: Meliphagidae Genus: Gymnomyza Species: G. samoensis Binomial name Gymnomyza samoensis
(Hombron & Jacquinot, 1841)
The Mao is a passerine bird belonging to the genus Gymnomyza in the honeyeater family Meliphagidae. It is an endangered species and is endemic to the Samoan Islands. Little is known about its feeding and breeding habits.
It is a large honeyeater, 28-31 cm long. The plumage is dark, varying from blackish on the head and breast to greenish. There is a greenish mark under the eye. The bill is long, curved and black and the legs and feet are also black. Adult birds have light blue eyes whilst the juvinle have a brown iris.
It is a noisy bird with loud wailing and mewing calls given most often at dawn and dusk.
It is found on the islands of Upolu and Savai'i and formerly occurred also on Tutuila. It normally inhabits mountain forest but has also been recorded from scrub and coastal coconut trees. It has a population of about 1000-2500 birds and is thought to be declining. It is threatened by destruction of the forest and the spread of introduced predators.
- BirdLife International (2007) Species factsheet: Gymnomyza samoensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 6/8/2007.
- Pratt, H. Douglas; Bruner, Philip L. & Berrett, Delwyn G. (1987), A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific, Princeton University Press, Chichester.
- Watling, Dick (2001) A Guide to the Birds of Fiji & Western Polynesia, Environmental Consultants (Fiji), Suva.
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