One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tropical American tanager (songbird) with a long curved bill, feeding on nectar and insects.
Genera Cyanerpes and Chlorophanes, family Emberizidae (subfamily Thraupinae): five species
- ‘The Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyanueus), also known as the Yellow-winged Sugarbird, is found from Southern Mexico, through Latin America to Northern South America.’
- ‘The male Yellow-legged or Purple Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes caeruleus) is a beautiful bird that keeps his color year-round.’
- ‘The tanager family of North and South America boosts some of the most beautiful of all the creatures; included in the family are honeycreepers or sugarbirds, dacnis, and euphonias.’
2A Hawaiian songbird of variable appearance and with a specialized bill, several kinds of which are now endangered.
Family Drepanididae (or Fringillidae): several genera and species, often with Hawaiian names such as the iiwi and ou
- ‘It happened on the Hawaiian islands, when two small birds called honeycreepers ultimately produced more than 50 distinct species that swarmed the forests.’
- ‘Thirteen other species of a type of bird known as the Hawaiian honeycreeper had also become instinct.’
- ‘These bright red rainforest honeycreepers have long, curved bills that are ideally suited for sipping nectar from Hawaiian lobelias.’
- ‘To date, mitochondrial rate calibrations have been generated (in chronological order) for geese, Hawaiian honeycreepers, cranes, partridges, procellariiform seabirds, and ratites.’
- ‘Parental care of juveniles lasts less than a month for the other honeycreepers and has generally ended by the time flocking begins.’
- ‘Other Hawaiian birds, such as the 20 or so diverse and colorful honeycreepers, face equally grim prospects if the disease hits, Burgett predicts.’
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