Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)

Ou (Psittirostra psittacea)


French: Psittirostre psittacin German: Gelbkopf-Kleidervogel Spanish: Ou

Loxia psittacea

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Sandwich Islands = Hawaiian Islands


Birds from Oahu and Molokai (extinct on both) described as respective races deppei and oppidana, but specimens fall within normal range of variation of species. Monotypic.


Kauai and Hawaii, in main Hawaiian Is. Last confirmed record in 1987; possibly extinct#R.

Descriptive notes

17 cm. A medium-sized rather pot-bellied finch-like bird having elongated heavy bill with strongly hooked upper mandible. Male has head bright golden-yellow, sharply... read more


Calls loud, drawn-out, far-carrying human-like whistles slurred up or, less commonly, down. Song... read more


Found in all habitats, at least seasonally; very wet ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha)... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily frugivorous, but caterpillars also taken during seasonal outbreaks. Diet includes flowers, composite fruits and leaf bracts of... read more


Season apparently in spring, with begging juveniles present into Aug. No other information.


Nomadic. Wanders widely, following food resources; although never directly observed, probably moved... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (POSSIBLY EXTINCT). Restricted-range species: present in Central Hawaiian Islands EBA and Hawai‘i EBA. No definite sightings on Kauai since 1989... read more

Recommended citation

Pratt, D. (2020). Ou (Psittirostra psittacea). 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 25 February 2020).