Avifauna

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Aviafauna – Talk Story

Merriam-Webster defines avifauna as the birds or the kind of birds of a region, period, or environment.

A lot has been written about the birds of Hawaii.  Isolated, out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly 2400 miles for the nearest continental land mass, it is fun to think about how those original colonizing species made their way to the islands. And then once here, there was the need to adapt.

Amazingly, those original birds, somehow managed to survive and eventually evolve into endemic species found naturally nowhere else. Between islands and on individual islands in small isolated areas, adaptation occurred and separate populations grew, making Hawaii a laboratory for evolution.

When humans first arrived in Hawaii, there were more than 140 species of native birds. Today over half of these birds are now extinct and 66 native bird species are endangered.  And along the way, over 150 species of alien birds have been introduced to the islands.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve sat in my backyard, where most of these images have been captured, thinking how cool it would be to have had the opportunity to photograph just one of those birds no longer with us.  But I will take what I can get. And hopefully I can get a few more before they are gone.