#188 Po'ouli

Extinct

I decided to do a whole week of Hawaiian birds that are extinct or mostly extinct. Unfortunately that list is very long.


These birds were discovered in 1973, By 2004 there were only 3 known remaining ones and attempts were made to capture them. First they tried to move one female to a male's territory, but she bolted back home immediately. When they tried capturing them, they managed to capture one male, but never saw the other 2 again. He died in November 2004. There have been surveys since, and they are now classified as extinct. They were a "honeycreeper" but without the long curved bill you might typically associate with the type of bird. There are many reasons that they went extinct. The snails they ate have also been facing population declines. They were preyed on by cats, rats, and other mainly introduced or invasive species. They were also susceptible to disease spread by mosquitoes. They could live for around 9 years, so unless the last 2 that were not captured were a male and female (it was not known if both were female or one was male), and they had overlapping territories, there is no way that they are still around. They remind me a bit of chickadees, but their beaks are more substantial, and they look like they are going grey on top


Actually, chickadees are one of my favourite local birds (after crows). They are such cute little round things, almost cartoonish. Even more like a cartoon to me is the European robin. Especially when you compare it to the robins we have here. Similar to the Australian possum in comparison to our opossum, or the badgers they have in the UK vs our badgers. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore our opossums, much to the chagrin of my best friend who is a bit scared of them. I even love our badgers though I hope I would be smart enough not to try to pet one. I just love the fluffy little balls with wings that some birds are. They are comical and watching them hop around seemingly happy just to be alive can really improve your mood.

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