Laysan millerbird (Acrocephalus familiaris familiaris)

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Laysan millerbird at nest, taken in 1902
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Laysan millerbird fact file

Laysan millerbird description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyMuscicapidae
GenusAcrocephalus (1)

A small and unremarkable warbler, the Laysan millerbird is so-named as it ate large numbers of moths, known as ‘millers’ on Laysan Island. It had a thin bill and was brown above, being darkest on the crown, and white below. It had a simple song of rapid, sharp notes (2).

Size
Length: 13 cm (2)
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Laysan millerbird biology

A monogamous species, Laysan millerbirds remained in the same pairs from year-to-year. They were territorial and nested in dense shrubs, laying two eggs between May and June. The male and female took turns to incubate the eggs over a period of 17 days. The Laysan millerbird ate insects and larvae, particularly moths (2).

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Laysan millerbird range

The Laysan millerbird was endemic to Laysan Island in the Hawaiian archipelago, but went extinct between 1915 and 1923 (2).

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Laysan millerbird habitat

As a land bird, the Laysan millerbird preferred dense cover on the ground, particularly amongst shrubs (2).

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Laysan millerbird status

The Laysan millerbird is a subspecies of the millerbird, and is classified as Extinct (EX) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1).

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Laysan millerbird threats

The extinction of the Laysan millerbird between 1915 and 1923 was brought about by the introduction of rabbits to Laysan Island by guano diggers. The rabbits devastated the vegetation of the island, reducing the availability of insect prey (2).

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Laysan millerbird conservation

This bird is now considered to be extinct.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Guano
Accumulated droppings found where large colonies of animals such as seals, bats or birds occur; it is rich in nutrients.
Monogamous
Having only one mate during a breeding season, or throughout the breeding life of a pair.
Subspecies
A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
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References

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Image credit

Laysan millerbird at nest, taken in 1902  
Laysan millerbird at nest, taken in 1902

© Walter K. Fisher / Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Image Archives, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Boulevard
Denver
Colorado
80205-5798
United States of America
Liz.Clancy@dmns.org
http://www.dmns.org

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