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.

Hawaiian Birds: Kolea

23 01 2011

Kolea also known as Plauvialis dominica is about eleven inches and has gold spotting and is brown with darker brown below. It is sometimes mistaken for the more rare Black-bellied Plover that lacks the golden color on its back. It is very hard to tell the males from the female Kolea.

They are found primarily in mudflats, fields and grassy slopes. They scurrry along in search of snails, insects, and crustaceans.

Hawaiian State Bird: Nene Goose

20 08 2010


Hawaiian Goose or Nene Goose,  Banto sandcivensis

These birds are found primarily on the islands of Hawaii and Maui. They have a call that is similar to that of a Canada Goose and sometimes can be mistaken as that of the voice of a cow “moo.”

They begin nesting in November laying 2-5 eggs on average in down nests that are concealed for safety. They often roost on the slopes of Mauna Kea. They snack primarily on native plants.

Hawaiian Sayings

2 10 2009
Royal Hawaiian Feather Cape

Royal Hawaiian Feather Cape

Ho`ola`i na manu i ke aheahe.

The birds poise quietly in the gentle breezes.

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.