from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various small, often brightly colored tropical American birds of the family Coerebidae, having a curved bill adapted for sucking nectar from flowers.
- n. Any of several birds of the family Drepanididae of Hawaii, similar to the mainland honeycreepers.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of various nectar-feeding birds of the tanager family, belonging to the genera Cyanerpes, Chlorophanes, and Iridophanes.
- n. Also applied to the Hawaiian honeycreepers, passerine songbirds of Hawaii.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any of a number of small to medium-sized finches of the Hawaiian islands belonging to the subfamily Drepanidae.
- n. any of numerous species of small, bright, colored, passerine birds of the family Cœrebidæ, related to the tanagers and wood warblers, abundant in Central and South America; they are songbirds with a curved bill for sucking nectar.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Any bird of the American family Cœrebidœ or Dacnididœ; a guitguit. The species are quite numerous; one, Certhiola bahamensis, occurs in the United States. See cut under Cœrebinœ.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. small to medium-sized finches of the Hawaiian islands
- n. small bright-colored tropical American songbird with a curved bill for sucking nectar
The term "honeycreeper" was originally associated with two groups of birds, once thought to be related: the Hawaiian Honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) and the Neotropical honeycreepers (Coerebidae).
Because this fire now threatens a relatively pristine native rain forest that is home to Hawaii's famous happyface spiders and honeycreeper songbirds, Park officials are quite rightly doing everything they can to stop it.
For instance, over 40 species of exquisite honeycreeper songbirds ultimately evolved from a single finch-like ancestor.
One such is the po'ouli bird, a species of honeycreeper that lived in Hawaii and was only discovered in 1973.
Several species, including the crested honeycreeper and ou, are near extinction.
One hot spot: Hawaii, where nonnative species have killed off some 100 plants, and the honeycreeper, a jungle bird, is down to single digits.
ENVIRONMENTCritical ListThe snail darter had its 15 minutes; now the honeycreeper is ready for its close-up.
Whatever we may call the sympathy that involves us with the fate of victims in war zones half a world away, the sonar torture of whales, the mutilation of women and the tortures of bears in Pakistan, or the last members of a species of rainforest honeycreeper, this regard for life apart from our own is something that, so far as I know, is unique to our species.
Thirteen other species of a type of bird known as the Hawaiian honeycreeper had also become instinct.
Ciridops anna, a finchlike little honeycreeper colored in patches of red, black, and gray, has been missing about as long.