Birds of Hawaii: Koa’e Kea

8 06 2009
Koae kea photo by Mila Zinkova

Koa'e kea photo by Mila Zinkova

The Koa’e Kea also called the White-tailed Tropicbird is often seen soaring at Hawaii’s Volcanic National Park. It nests on mountainous islands in the tropical Pacific and is 23-32″ with tail feathers and a wingspac on 35-38″. It has a graceful flapping flight with frequent gliding and feeds by plunging into the water for fish. Their call is a rasping scream that is harsh and distinctive.

Phaethon lepturus dorotheae

Phaethon lepturus dorotheae

Breeding extends from March until October. They breed on tropical islands laying a single egg directly onto the ground, crevice, or a cliff ledge.

Its feathers were highly prized in Hawaiian featherwork.

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