Edit ModuleShow Tags

Can you spot these 5 Hawaii birds in town?

You don’t have to venture deep into the forest to spot beautiful, interesting birds.


Published:

Ornithologist Douglas Pratt recently rereleased his classic, comprehensive book on birds, Hawaii’s Birds and Their Habitats, complete with more than 340 new photographs from Big Island photographer Jack Jeffrey. The guide is a boon to hardcore bird watchers and ornithologists, but it’s an interesting read for more casual bird buffs, too. Here are five birds you can keep an eye out for right now, without even leaving town.
 

Fairy Tern (aka White Tern)

These graceful birds are lovers of both trees and water, and feed on small fish. “They’re found only in the city, that’s the unusual thing about them,” says Pratt. In fact, in 2007, former Mayor Mufi Hannemann designated the native seabird as the official bird of Honolulu. Fairy terns don’t build nests; they lay a single egg on a branch and once the chick emerges, it remains on the branch, hanging on for dear life. During neszting season, fairy terns can be seen on the grounds of Iolani Palace, the state Capitol, the state library, Honolulu Hale, as well as in Kapiolani Park.


 

photos: courtesy jack jeffrey

   

Rose-Ringed Parakeet

Once you spot it, this lime-green bird, with its long tail feathers and red bill, is hard to miss, especially if you look in the trees on King and Beretania streets east of the state Capitol, says Pratt. For a closer look, “you can also go to the intersection of Tantalus and Makiki Heights Drive,” he adds. “There’s someone who feeds them up there. They eat fruit, so they can be a nuisance, especially if you’ve got a lychee tree,” says Pratt, with a laugh.



 

   

White-Rumped Shama

This bird with an orange belly is found in any “city area with vegetation,” says Pratt. It’s known for its voice, and thrives in the Islands today thanks to Hui Manu, a group formed in the 1930s that brought the white-rumped shama to Oahu. It’s renowned in the bird markets of Singapore, says Pratt.






 

   

Oahu Amakihi

Once threatened by avian malaria, this native bird, a Hawaiian honeycreeper, can be found atop the trees lining Tantalus Drive, in Manoa Valley, as well as in the Aiea State Park.








 

   

Oahu Elepaio

Also a native bird with a similarly small population, this little brown and white flycatcher can be found in East Honolulu, up Kuliouou Road.











 

 

For more on these birds and hundreds of others, check out Hawaii’s Birds and Their Habitats. $8.95, Mutual Publishing.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine December 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trending

 

9 Greatest Honolulu Homes

Great Homes

Stunning, historic, extraordinary.

 

Can the Mainland Do Poke Right? Do We Want Them To?​

Poke

Martha Cheng, author of The Poke Cookbook and former line, talks about how a New York City publisher decided Hawai‘i’s favorite pūpū was for everybody.

 

50 Essential Hawai‘i Books You Should Read in Your Lifetime

Books

The most iconic, trenchant and irresistible island books, as voted by a panel of literary community luminaries.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Local Fruit in Hawai‘i

Fruit

Fruits are part of our history and culture, a way for us to feel connected to our community.

 

 

A Local’s Guide to Buying Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Sunscreen

Five Hawai‘i brands have created reef-safe sunscreens that are safe for your ʻohana and the ocean. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags