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Hemignathus
File:Zzznukupuuaffinis.png
Hemignathus lucidus
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Clade: Nine-primaried oscines
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Carduelinae
Tribe: Drepanidini
Genus: Hemignathus
Lichtenstein, 1839
Synonyms

Akialoa
Heterorhynchus
Magumma
(but see text)

Hemignathus is a Hawaiian honeycreeper genus in the finch family, Fringillidae. These birds are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.

Many of its species became extinct during the 19th and 20th centuries due to a combination of habitat destruction, introduced predators, and most importantly mosquito-borne diseases. Some others became extinct in prehistoric times, when Polynesian settlers deforested the lowlands for agriculture.

They have a wide variety of bill shapes and sized; if the genus is broadly defined this diversity is probably the largest of all bird genera living or extinct.

Systematics

The genus Hemignathus is sometimes split into four distinct genera. While it is probably desirable to move at least some species to their own genera, many authorities are reluctant to do so at present due to the lack of comprehensive studies. That half of the taxa are extinct does not make such studies easier.


Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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