Friday, February 12, 2010

02/09 Iiwi

This is an improvement on a derby I entered a while ago. I love this Hawaiian honeycreeper, the iiwi. It's got a very metallic song, and is very pretty. Also, it's one of the few native birds that have shown some resistance to the avian pox and malaria that has decimated the island group of birds. Why? The Hawaiian island chain is the most isolated land mass on the planet- 2500 miles from the nearest continent. Which means the birds have developed in isolation from any disease-carrying mosquitoes for eons, and therefore do not have antibodies against them. So most are extinct now.  But this bird is plentiful enough that it probably will survive.

Maybe I'll sub this as a good joe, since improving bird conservation on Hawaii is one of my big career goals.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. I loved it when you entered it into the derby. Although I don't remember all the detail, it seems this one might have more detailed tail feathers. I like the copy you included with the illustration. I hope you get to reach you goals for bird conservation.