HAWAI‘I BIRD CONSERVATION SUCCESS STORY: WILD MAUI PARROTBILL EGG HATCHED IN

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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (April 5, 1999 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---There has been another success story involving one of Hawai‘i’s endangered forest birds, the Maui parrotbill, a species that now totals fewer than 500 birds.

A single bird egg, located in the wild, has hatched at the Maui Bird Conservation Center. It is only the second Maui parrotbill to have hatched and survived in captivity.

Alan Lieberman, co-director of the Peregrine Fund, a Hawai‘i bird conservation program, said "The gourmet jelly bean-sized egg was in the last stages of incubation when we collected it" in a nature reserve.

He said the 1.54-gram chick appears to be in good health.

Although it will be some time before the bird’s sex can be determined, scientists are hoping it is a male, as the only other Maui parrotbill hatched in captivity is a female.

"Having a breeding pair in captivity," Lieberman said, "would allow us to learn a great deal about the species and its life history" as well as increase the Maui parrotbill population

The species is named for its large, hooked parrot-like bill.

An adult bird measures about 5 1/2 inches long. It is olive green above with a yellow throat, breast and abdomen. It became endangered as its forest habitats were cleared for agriculture, cattle ranching and settlements.

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