American Bird Association made birds of Hawaii a part of their list in 2017 after years of debate. In the 19th and early 20th century, many birds were brought over from all over the world to Hawaii as pets or with the intention to do pest control. Hence all birds seen in Hawaii are not native. The native birds are being conserved in the remote forest. Meanwhile the other can be found in resort and suburban landscapes.
However, the birds are quickly getting lesser and lesser day by day and the funds to save them are insufficient.
So, if you happen to visit Hawaii besides the tropical climate and the beautiful beaches lookout for these beautiful, striking bright-colored birds.
These are some of the most common birds you will be able to spot while venturing in Hawaii as a tourist.
1. Nene Goose
They were a popular target for bird hunters who were on a visit to Aloha state because of which their number decreased to only 30 Nene birds. However, because of the unwavering efforts of an ornithologist, there are now over 2500 of them. They have been given the status of an official state bird. Unlike most ducks, the Nene’s are capable of flying to find food. They’re also said to be slightly dwarf and have black feet, beak & head. They can easily be spotted however we suggest you stay far from them as they’re shy and you can be fined for disturbing them.
2. Scarlet Honeycreeper
They are also known as ‘I’iwi, they have black wings, bright orange body, and a curved pink beak. They’re mesmerizing to look at. The scarlet honeycreepers who also resemble hummingbirds are the pride Hawaiian citizens; however, they are continuously becoming extinct. They are mostly spotted in the elevated forest near nectar-filled flowers.
This is the only bird that is a woodpecker amongst all birds of Hawaii. They control the insect community in Hawaii. They’re popular in dry areas but can also be spotted in moist forests. They have a fat body with specks of white on the lowermost body and the tail. The chest is bright-yellow, the head is orange, ash white wings, and lastly blackface.
4. Hawaiian Amakihi
Another evolution of the honeycreepers which is only ten cm long and has a very powerful voice. The body has a dominant yellow color with occasional flecks of black. They are also known to bear a resemblance to the Japanese White-eye bird. The most unique thing about them visually is their brown eyes and the black pupil. They are known to be omnivorous specie, they consume bugs and spiders meanwhile they also have devoured nectar with the help of their tubular tongue.
5. Honeycreeper Akepa
From over 50 evolutions of honeycreepers, akepa is the smallest one being only 4cm long. These birds also show signs of dwarfism. The birds have a slight cross-bill feature in which the upper feathers of the body overlap the lower ones but only by the side.
They male akepa will have a bright orange body meanwhile the female will have a green upper body and a dirty yellowish belly. They are insectivores as per their diet which comprises of pests and spiders.
6. Hawaiian Hawk
It is also known by the name ‘i’o it is the predator bird of Hawaii. The hawks a large and heavy body. Interestingly the female hawks weigh 0.6 kg meanwhile the male weighs 0.4kg
They are quite widespread hence you will be easily able to spot one especially on Long Island. The females also develop a yellow color on the front part of their upper beak during the breeding season. Their upper body is dark comprising of overall dark brown color meanwhile the lower part is a lighter shade of brown.
7. Hawaiian Thrush
They are also known as oma’o. The bird is somewhat like a robin and is found only in the eastern and western rainforest of Hawaii. They have an overall dull appearance with a light grey head and a dirty-white body (similar to the greyish shade of upper part). They are special because of their ability to create spasmodic tunes by their voice. However, according to an ornithologist, they are close to becoming extinct.
They are also called the Hawaiian owl they are widespread specie but even then it is difficult to spot them. They are mostly found in open grassland and meadow so that they can easily hunt their prey. Owing to their name ‘owl’ they are mostly active at dawn and duck time. However, they have also been spotted hunting at noon.
9. Hawaiian Crow
They are also known as the ‘Alala. The bird measures to be about 18 inches in length. They have an omnivorous diet as they feed on fruits, dead mice, and small birds. They have a black body with tinges of grey and brown feathers. Their necks are stiff; they make crow-like and musical sounds. They are commonly preyed upon by hawks, rats, and mongooses.
10. Elepaio Chasiempis
These birds are known for their sounds. They are the first noises to be heard in Hawaii as the sun rises and can also be heard singing late in the night. They have several names depending on which island they are widespread. In terms of physical features, they have a mix of brown and grey head with a light brown body. Lastly, their tails are long and always pointed in a certain direction.
Whichever Hawaii Island you land upon you will always be able to listen to their enchanting songs in the morning and see their striking features when you’re out and about.
Due to the environmental change and the previously carried out bird predating activities, many of the birds have become extinct and some are on the verge of becoming extinct. Various efforts have been made and some are underway to save the birds of Hawaii. Hopefully, the generation after us will be able to experience these marvelous wonders of nature.