Ka Hana Pono
Ae’o Bird (Hawaiian Stilt)…An Endgangered Bird Of Endangered Wetlands
We heard a strange bird call early in the morning at Ka Hana Pono one day…sort of a loud “keeeeek” 🙂 Uncle Bison grabbed the camera and took a few photos. We later looked up the bird online and were able to share this information with the kids.
The Ae’o Bird thrives in what is now an endangered habitat. Ancient Hawaiians grew taro in water and farmed saltwater fish in man-made ponds ringed with lava rock. Both of these activities created ample habitat for a group of native wetland birds. Because shoreline land is much more valuable today for resort development, these habitats are now preserved only in a few refuges and farms.
The Hawaiian Stilt is probably the most noticeable becuse of its loud cry given in flight and on the ground. We learned that the mature birds use tricks such as a “broken wing act” to lure intruders away from the nest area. Keep in mind that these birds may be abundant in specific areas (like near taro farms) but that the total population of these birds is small, estimated around 1500.