The O‘ahu ‘Ō‘ō
) is an extinct member of the Hawaiian honeyeaters
) within the extinct genus of the ‘Ō‘ōs (Moho
The males reached a length of 30.5 centimetre. The wing length was 10.5 to 11.4 centimetres, the culmen was between 3.5 and 3.8 centimetres and the tarsus was between 3.4 and 3.8 centimetres. The females were smaller. The plumage was predominantly sooty black. The tail feathers were brown and had with the exception of the both central tail feathers white tips. Further characteristics were the white feather tufts under the axillaries and the both narrow central tail feathers which changed into fine hair-like or fibrous tips. The flanks and the undertail coverts were coloured deeply yellow. The bill and the tarsus were black. Its biology is not well-studied.
Occurrence and Habitat
Its habitat were the mountain forests on O‘ahu
When John Gould
first described the O‘ahu ‘Ō‘ō in 1860 it was already regarded as vanished for 23 years. The last reliable evidence was a collection of about three birds by German naturalist Ferdinand Deppe
in 1837. He found these specimens in the hills behind the capital Honolulu
After surveys, which were e.g. led by ornithologist Robert C. L. Perkins failed between 1880 and 1890, it was described as almost already extinct. Today there are seven specimens in the museum collections in Berlin, London, New York City and Cambridge (Massachusetts).
The reasons for its extinction were probably avian diseases caused by introduces mosquitos, habitat destruction by cattle and goats, deforestation, predation by introduced rats, and hunting.
- Munro, George C. (1944 and its revised 2nd. edition from 1960): Birds of Hawaii
- Flannery, Tim & Schouten, Peter (2001): A Gap in Nature
- Fuller, Errol (2000): Extinct Birds
- Day, David (1981): The Doomsday Book of Animals
- Greenway, James C. (1967): Extinct and Vanishing Birds of the World
- Luther, Dieter (2005): Die ausgestorbenen Vögel der Welt