Saturday, June 3, 2017
Juvenile Shama Thrush in Waimea Valley on Oahu
Invasive species were introduced for a variety of reasons. In some cases, such as with the Myna Birds, they were brought as a method of controlling pests in the sugar cane fields. In others, caged birds escaped from their owners. In at least one case that I heard of, a pet shop went bankrupt, and the owner simply let all of his birds go. There were even well-meaning people who released birds on purpose to repopulate the coastal forests with songbirds. Overall, these new species put even more pressure on the natives, as they often competed for the same food sources.
So birding on the islands is a mixed bag. As a rule, one will not see native species unless a special effort is made to visit their habitats. And yet, the invasive birds are often quite beautiful speciess that have become naturalized in their new habitat. They are colorful and are often easy to photograph in heavily visited tourist areas. As such, they'll be the focus of my next few posts. While we were on Oahu, we made sure to get out of Honolulu and explore the wilder parts of the island, including the Waimea Valley on the North Shore.