Hawaiian Birds: ‘Alae ‘Ula

12 02 2011

‘Alae ‘Ula

‘Alae ‘Ula or Hawaiian Gallinule, Gallunula chorloropus sandvicensis is mostly found of Kauai and Oahu but congressionally on the Big Island. They are less common than other water birds or their shy behavior makes it hard to estimate their population. They are slate gray with darker heads and a red frontal shield with a yellow tip. Thirteen inches with legs and feet that are yellowish-green. The chicks are black with the bright red bills. They are found in fresh water ponds, marshes, and taro patches and feeds on mollusks, water plants, and grasses. They have large unwebbed feet and often build their nests on folded reeds.

Ancient Hawaiians believe this species brought fire from the gods to the Hawaiian people.

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