The Kauai amakihi uses its long, powerful bill to excavate arthropods from under the bark of trees but it will also glean insects found on tree trunks and branches. Being omnivorous, the Kauai amakihi also feeds on nectar from species such as Kaua’i koli’i, ‘ohi’a and kanawao, as well as from introduced species such as the banana poka and Methley plum (Prunus salicina). The Kauai amakihi can be found foraging among mixed-species flocks (3).
The breeding season for the Kauai amakihi is from March to July. In March and April, the male Kauai amakihi performs a courtship display, whereby it will sing, chase, and dance for a female. The male will also provide food for the female before and during nest building, as well as throughout incubation (3).
The nest is constructed by both sexes of the Kauai amakihi, and is formed using materials such as twigs, roots and moss, with a lining of shredded bark and grasses. The nest is typically found in ‘ohi’a approximately five metres above the ground. A couple of days after the nest is completed, the female Kauai amakihi lays a clutch of one to four white, brown-speckled eggs (3).
Following a 14 day incubation period by the female Kauai amakihi, the helpless nestlings hatch. The nestlings’ eyes remain closed for four days and their feathers begin to develop after seven days. The male and female Kauai amakihi feed the young and take faecal sacs from the nest, but usually only the female broods the young during the night. The Kauai amakihi chicks fledge from 17 to 20 days after hatching (3).