HAWAIIAN BIRDS and WILDLIFE

The Hawaiian Islands have many birds and lots of different wildlife.
We will consider wildlife to include everything from bugs to plants.
The following is some information on a few of these. As time goes by
we will slowly add information as we have time to input it.

BIRDS:
Common Myna Bird:
You will see this bird all over the place and they do not migrate, so you
can see them all year round. Sometimes they are a little pesky and
sometimes you are worried that you may run over one with your car.
This is because they hop across our roads and are used to the cars
going by them. They usually get out of the way just in the nick of time,
but not by flying away. They just hop away just enough so that you miss
them and you are all worried that you ran over the poor bird. Don't worry,
you probably missed him.
These Mynas strut around like royalty acting like they own wherever
they are located. They will even tease our pets. They are pretty cocky
and they are also quite noisy.
These Mynas originally came from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.
Around 1866, Dr. William Hillebrand brought them to Hawaii in an effort to
control cutworms and army worms that were destroying sugar cane and
pastures. Since they have arrived these Mynas have become our friends.
Yes, they do have an "attitude", but they eat lots of insects so they are one
of our best pest controllers. So, we do like them a lot !!

WEDGE TAILED SHEARWATER:
In the world, there are over 50 kinds of Shearwaters. Hawaii is home to
only two or three kinds of them. The Hawaii versions are about the same
size as a pigeon, but a little more fluffy looking. They are nocturnal which
means they are more active during the night, and especially during the
nesting season. They nest on the ground, usually in burrows that are
small caves about two or three feet long. They will also nest in cracks and
between rocks or in other low spots that give them protection from the
weather.
Our Hawaiian Shearwaters can stay for long periods at sea. They have 
webbed feet so that they can kick off from the surface of the ocean or
from the crest of a wave. They also have a unique "tube nose" that is 
located at the base of their beak. This tube is important to the bird as it
is connected to a gland that removes extra salt from it's food and water.
This protects the nostrils from salty ocean spray when they are flying
close to the water. Their beak is pointed so that it can easily grab squid
and small fish as it flies low over the ocean waves.
Hawaiian Shearwaters migrate to the coast of Central America each
November along the equatorial countercurrent. They return to Hawaii in
March. So you can come and see both adults and chicks between March
and November each year at the Kilauea Point Bird Refuge on Kauai. This
is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge that has fences and other safety
measures to allow a safe haven for many types of birds.
For the most part Shearwaters are only seen on Kauai. Many Shearwaters
are located on small offshore islands near Maui and Molokai and Oahu.
On Kauai, Kilauea Point, is the home of a large colony of these birds.
They nest on the ground, so they are often attacked by dogs, cats, rats
and mongooses. That is why they are rarely found on the major islands.
When you visit Kauai and are driving around at night, keep a watch out for
individual Shearwaters by the side of the road. In the evening they are
attracted to bright lights, like streetlights. Once they land, they cannot
take off again, as they need a cliff or steep hill to be able to initiate flight.
So if you see one by the side of the road, be a kind person. Go over and
gently pick up the Shearwater by his main body. Hold him tightly so that
he cannot escape (they will try and flap their wings but that is where you
will be holding him), but do not hold him too hard because you don't want
to crush him. Take him to any of the Kauai Fire Departments. At each Kauai
Fire Department, just outside, there are rows of yellow bird cages for you
to place the Shearwater. Once inside of the cage the Shearwater will be safe.
Within a day, or so, someone will come by to pick up any Shearwaters that
have been left in the cages. The birds will be taken care of and properly
released into the wild.

 

                                                      

   Copyright 2004 - kauai1.com & KIRE & KIRE LLC.             kauai1.com