Kauai's Colorful Forest Birds On The Brink

In Hawaii's Kauai island, the native forest birds are in peril. Once considered a paradise for the colorful songbirds, the island has lost more than half of those native species. Of the eight forest bird species on the island, three are listed as endangered. Among them is the puaiohi. The small gray and brown bird with pink feet now numbers less than 500. It feeds on the fruits of native plants and plays a vital role in seed dispersal. Native Hawaiian songs tell stories of the islands, including one that was inspired by the last mating call of a now extinct bird, the Kauai O'o (Moho braccatus). "We still sing it with hope in our hearts," says Sabra Kauka, a Native Hawaiian who is a revered teacher of the island's culture. "Our seabirds, our mountain birds they are just indicators of the health of the earth," she says.

Source: KBIA, 24 July 2017