Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)


Hawaii Elepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis)


French: Monarque d’Hawaï German: Hawaiimonarch Spanish: Elepaio de Hawái

Muscicapa sandwichensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Sandwich Islands, Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii


Recently shown to be vocally and genetically distinctive#R#R in addition to exhibiting strong morphological differences from C. sclateri and C. ibidis, with which it is commonly lumped. Races bryani and ridgwayi sometimes merged with nominate#R#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. sandwichensis (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Hawaii I (drier areas in W & S).
  • C. s. bryani H. D. Pratt, 1979 – NC Hawaii I (high dry slopes of Mauna Kea).
  • C. s. ridgwayi Stejneger, 1887 – E Hawaii I (wet slopes in Hilo district).
  • Descriptive notes

    14 cm; 12–18 g, male on average c. 10% larger than female. Distinctive, with long graduated tail, conspicuous white rump and wingbars. Male nominate race has dark brown... read more


    Primary song given by male (during breeding season up to 30 songs per hour, continuously for 10... read more


    On Hawaii most common in closed-canopy wet to mesic forest at higher elevations, reaching highest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, particularly insects and spiders (Araneae) of both native and introduced species. Stomach contents included larvae and adults... read more


    Mid-Mar to Aug (most clutches laid late Apr to mid-Jun) on Hawaii, and from early Jan (most clutches laid from Mar, most young late Mar to... read more


    Sedentary. Most remain on same territory until death (site-fidelity 98% for males, 93% for females... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Central Hawaiian Islands EBA. Still common on Hawaii and Kauai; less so on Oahu. On Hawaii in 1980s, nominate race had... read more

    Recommended citation

    Moeliker, K. & de Juana, E. (2017). Hawaii Elepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 November 2017).