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Hawaiian 'I'iwi bird

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Uploaded on Apr 6, 2011

Filmed at The Nature Conservancy's Waikamoi Preserve on Maui, this short video shows the perfect fit between the long bill of the scarlet 'i'iwi, a native honeycreeper, and the curved, tubular flower of the blue 'ōpelu, a native lobelia. This is a text book example of "co-evolution" -- a phenomenon in which two interacting species, typically an animal and a plant, evolve together in ways that are beneficial to both. In Hawai'i, honeycreepers and lobeliads evolved in a tight relationship of feeding. The fit of beak to flower is often so precise that the bird can draw nectar while maintaining a clear view of the world, alert for avian predators such as hawks and owls.

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