Rare Maui bird gets new name - kiwikiu

An adult male kiwikiu
An adult male kiwikiu

HONOLULU (AP) - Conservationists, Hawaiian scholars and state and federal officials are holding a blessing and naming ceremony for one of Maui's rarest birds.

The endangered avian species has been known as the Maui parrotbill.

On Sunday it's due to be formally bestowed with the Hawaiian name kiwikiu in a ceremony at Haleakala National Park.

The Hawaiian Lexicon Committee - a body that finds Hawaiian words for things, beings and concepts - accepted kiwikiu as the name in May.

Scientists estimate there are only about 500 kikiwiu remaining in the wild.

The stocky, honeycreeper is olive-green and has a yellow breast.

The birds have a short tail and a relatively large parrot-like bill.

Photo source: Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project

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