Mao

Scientific Name
Gymnomyza samoensis
Family
Genus
Conservation Status
Endangered (EN)

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Wikipedia Article

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 olive-green on the wings and body.Mao Gymnomyza samoensis, Birdlife International There is a dark greenish mark under the eye. The bill is long, curved and black in an adult and yellowish in a chick or juvinle and the legs and feet are also black. Adult birds have light blue eyes whilst juveniles have a brown iris. Nests are built at varying heights in the branches of many different tree species. A single whitish brown speckled egg is laid in a simple cup nest. The single chick is in the nest for approximately 1 month prior to fledging. During this time it is feed both small vertebrates such as geckos and insects. After leaving the nest the juvenile remains in the core breeding territory where it is fed by the female for two more months. During this time it follows the female making loud begging calls. It is a noisy bird with beautiful loud wailing and mewing calls given most often at dawn and dusk. A breeding pair also do complex duets. 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 1000-250 birds and is thought to be declining. It is threatened by destruction of the forest and the spread of introduced predators such as rats.