The species is only found on the island of Hawaii in secluded valleys and ravines of open park-like montane forest. Once a relatively abundant species, it has now a dangerously reduced population probably brought about by more than one factor. This still seems strange for such a strong flying, and resourceful creature (which it certainly is) but introduced disease (probably one factor) is no respector of an animals ability to survive and it's numbers have reached a critical level that it may not come back from due to it's reduced gene pool.
Food is taken both in trees and on the ground. Carrion is included as well as all manner of introduced human food and scraps. Eggs and nestlings (including those of introduced birds) are taken and all manner of small creatures are caught and eaten. Fruits are taken, both native and introduced and bark is prized off trees to get at insects beneath.
Nests are always built in trees by both sexes and can be placed in quite remote sites sometimes well away from other trees, though usually in open woodland amongst a tangle of tree creepers. There are usually 5 eggs laid and can be incubated by either parent with the bird off duty usually sitting quietly near it's brooding mate.
The voice is varied but has been described as a two-toned caw or even a screech with lower tones added like a cats meeow. It also makes a ca-wak sound.