‘Akepa is an agile and small forest bird from Hawaii which is famous for its active foraging at branch tips. The natural habitats are the highland and ancient rainforests of Hawaii and their surviving population live only on the island of Hawaii above 4000′ elevation. ‘Akapi has normally a rounded head, black eyes, and black wings and tail. Adult males sport one of the most brilliant orange colors found in any bird, a plumage which takes four years to develop. Females are greenish gray on back, lighter grey on front, with varying amounts of yellow and sometimes pale orange on the breast and belly. Juveniles appear similar to females, though are generally duller in color. All ‘Akepa birds have an unusual cross-bill. When closed, the upper bill tip slightly overlaps the lower bill tip to one side (this cannot be seen in the field). When opening the bill, as in prying open leaf buds to extract small caterpillars, the bills swing dramatically sideways, and this is easily seen in the hand. ‘Akepas is mainly feed themselves on ‘Ohi’a -lehua trees and Koa trees and their bill is specialized for opening ‘Ohi’a-lehua leaf buds in search of small caterpillars. These birds have a breeding season in spring.
The population of ‘Akepa, an agile forest bird from Hawaii is at high risk and highly endangered and according to a rough estimate, about 14,000 Hawai’i ‘Akepa remained in the lovely planet. The diseases like avian malaria and avian pox have played a role in killing off populations of ‘Akepa. The introduction of the alien birds and ectoparasites in the native homeland of ‘Akepa is also a major threat as ‘Akepa and other native species have shown signs of starvation and runty nestlings, as well as declining population during this time. Although the largest populations of ‘Akepa live within protected lands, large trees appear to be falling faster than they are replaced. Scientifically, ‘Akepa is known as Loxops coccineus.