Tuesday, July 19, 2016

African Silverbills at Laupahoehoe and Kona

Our journeys through the Hawaiian Islands brought us to the beach park at Laupahoehoe northwest of Hilo on the Big Island. The park preserves the memories of a tragic event in 1946, a tsunami that took the lives of 20 schoolchildren and four teachers (story here). I wandered towards the beach area and saw a small flock of African Silverbills (Lonchura cantans), also known as Warbling Silverbills.
Most of the birds that one sees in the urban and coastal settings are not native to Hawai'i, and that is the case here, if you couldn't figure it out from the name. The birds seem to have arrived in the 1960s, probably as escapees from pet owners. They have spread throughout the entire island chain. I saw others on the road to Kona below Saddle Road (below).

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