Field of Science

Bird-Flower pairing on Maui

TPP is taking a timeout from the January weather of the upper Midwest (generally bad) by spending a couple of weeks in Maui where the weather is usually good.  It certainly is lovely right now.  Now many readers will know that it is hard sometimes to find native plants and animals because non-natives plants and animals abound.  But by driving up the side of a volcano you can get to alpine plants and animals, and that's what we did.  A lovely leguminous shrub was flowering, providing some nectar for the native honeyeaters, and indeed, they were observed as well.  So this was a great pairing; a flower shaped by and for the bill of a honeyeater and the bird itself, which was quite spectacular.  TPP has an image of the flowers, a typical bean flower, but more bent to match the bill of this honeyeater, the i'iwi.  The bird image was obtained from the wiki creative commons and is the work of Alan Schmierer, so thanks Alan.  The shrub was a typical enough  Sophora (S. chysophylla)


Katherine Wagner-Reiss said...

What a beautiful juxtaposition of flower shape and bill shape- thank you!

The Phytophactor said...

Yes, it's quite obvious isn't it.