Wednesday, August 10, 2016

White-rumped Shama on Kaua'i in the Hawaiian Islands

Back to Hawai'i! During our early summer trip to the islands, I had an opportunity to see quite a few new and different bird species. The native species were so decimated by the arrival of humans and invasive alien species that they are rarely seen, at least in urban areas where most tourists congregate. They tend to see instead a diverse group of tropical birds introduced from all over the world. The White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus) is no exception. It was introduced to Kaua'i in the early 1930s, and later to Oahu and Molokai.
The bird has been called the Shama Thrush in the past, but is said to be more closely related to the flycatcher family. They are native to southeast Asia. The species has a highly melodious song, and I hear them more often than I see them.
They like to hide in thick forest, but this particular individual did me the favor of hanging out in a tree next to the luau being held at our hotel in Kapa'a on the island of Kaua'i. Sure, I was taking pictures of our students all dressed up, and the dancers dancing, but I was rather easily distracted by this beautiful bird, too.

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