Hawai‘i is known for being a melting pot, and that doesn’t just apply to the people who live here. It is home to hundreds of animals who make up its eclectic ecosystem. Birds of many interesting varieties have made Hawai‘i their home – some of the most well-known native Hawaiian birds include the ʻakiapōlāʻau, ʻamakihi, and the Hawai'i state bird – the nēnē goose.
The ʻakiapōlāʻau is a type of honeycreeper. They are sometimes referred to as the Hawai‘i version of woodpeckers. They grow to be about 5 inches and are decorated with beautiful yellow and olive feathers. The best way to observe these birds would be in moist environments such as the Hakalau Forest Wildlife Refuge. The ʻamakihi is the most common native bird and has yellow and green feathers. It loves to sip nectar and eat the insects of Hawai‘i’s rainforests. Of all of the forest birds native to Hawaii, the ʻamakihi is least affected by habitat changes. Finally, the nēnē goose isHawai'i’s state bird, found exclusively on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawai'i. It was named the official state bird of Hawai'i in 1957 and is the world’s rarest goose. With feathers with patterns of brown, grey and white with black and white diagonal stripes, they can be found anywhere from sea-level to 8,000 feet in elevation!
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