The Tahiti Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus caffer) is a small passerine bird that belongs to the Acrocephalidae family, and its scientific name derives from the Greek words for "highest head." This rare bird is endemic to the islands of Tahiti and Moorea in French Polynesia, and its population has been steadily declining due to habitat loss and predation by introduced species.
The Tahiti Reed Warbler measures 13-15 cm in length and has a wingspan of up to 16 cm. Its plumage is brownish-olive with a pale underside, and it has a distinctive white supercilium, or eyebrow stripe, above the eyes. The bill is thin and pointed, and the legs are pale yellow. The male and female birds are similar in appearance, but the male may have a slightly larger bill.
This bird inhabits areas of tall, dense vegetation such as reeds, rushes, and grasses found along the edges of waterways, ponds, and wetlands. It is also found in mangrove swamps and coastal areas. The Tahiti Reed Warbler is an insectivore, feeding on insects and other small invertebrates that it catches by probing or picking off leaves and vegetation.
The Tahiti Reed Warbler is known for its complex polyphonic song, which consists of up to six different notes and can last for several minutes. The song is used by males to defend their territory and attract potential mates during the breeding season, which occurs from August to March. The male also performs a courtship display by fluttering its wings and hopping around in a circular motion.
The Tahiti Reed Warbler is considered endangered due to the destruction of its habitat by human activities such as development, agriculture, and invasive species. The introduction of predators such as rats, cats, and mongoose has also contributed to the decline of the species. Conservation efforts include the creation of protected areas and habitat restoration projects, as well as the removal of invasive species. The Tahiti Reed Warbler is an important bird species for the ecosystem of French Polynesia, and its survival is crucial for the region's biodiversity.