Akiapōlāʻau Giclée by Gretchen Grove
Found only in ʻōhiʻa-koa forests on Hawaiʻi Island and nowhere else in the world, the ʻAkiapōlāʻau is one of the world’s rarest birds with a most interesting bill. The upper bill is long and down-curved, the lower bill short and straight. If fills the niche of woodpecker, pecking along branches on Koa trees in search of wood-boring beetle grubs.
With its bill open, it uses the lower bill to peck at the wood to locate a grub, then uses its long upper bill and tongue to remove the prey from its hidden place in the tree. It can also unhinge its jaw to put the points of the upper and lower bills together like a pair of tweezers.
There are approximately 800 of these birds left. They raise only one young every other year because it takes over a year to teach the young one how to use its bill.
This giclée is from an original hand-colored linoleum block print by Gretchen Grove.