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Hawai'i

Sound Escapes - The Next Best Thing to Being There

Take a trip to the Hawaiian Islands with BirdNote with our new podcast Sound Escapes. We’ve teamed up with Gordon Hempton to bring the world’s sonic landscapes to your ears. This show is made possible by Jim and Birte Falconer of Seattle, the Bobolink Foundation, Idie Ulsh, and the Horizons... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording

Sound Escapes - Morning on the Big Island

It’s a warm summer morning on the western shore of the Big Island of Hawaii. A native 'Apapane is foraging in the brush. It’s early, the sun is rising, and the tide is coming in. The Pacific Ocean is “Peaceful Ocean,” and its beat is something that permeates every place you go on the island.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording

Sound Escapes - The Song of the Big Island

In the Hawaiian lowlands, most of birds you hear are from somewhere else. But when you get away from the beaches and climb higher, you’ll find the great forest refuges, where many of Hawaii’s native birds still thrive — and where the Big Island’s natural soundscape plays on. You can hear the full... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ... fish?

My wife and I were on a whale-watching boat off Maui in May. I was on the side of the boat, scanning the horizon for birds. It was a pretty quiet day on the water bird-wise, just a White-tailed Tropicbird and Wedge-tailed Shearwater to keep me interested.My wife isn't a birdwatcher but she will... read more »

Millerbirds Thrive on Laysan Island

“There’s no place in the world that’s had more bird extinctions since human settlement than the Hawaiian Islands,” says Dr. George Wallace of American Bird Conservancy. Of the 42 native bird species that remain, nearly three-quarters are endangered. But there is hope: Thanks to habitat... read more »

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Hawaiian Petrels Atop Haleakala

As the sun sets off Maui, a pair of Hawaiian Petrels calls. Crow-sized seabirds with long, slender wings, the petrels sit at the mouth of their nest burrow, dug high in the rim of Haleakala volcano. To feed their young, adult petrels glide low over the dark ocean, snatching squid from the surface... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Converting Pastures to Forest in Hawai'i

BirdNote producer John Kessler writes about spending a day in the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge with Jack Jeffrey. For more than 25 years, Jack was the senior field biologist there and has overseen the restoration of thousands of acres of natural forest vital to the endemic birds of the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Hakalau Forest National Refuge - With Jack Jeffrey

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1985 to protect endangered birds and their rainforest habitat. Only about 25% of old-growth forests remain on the Big Island of Hawaii, and people like Jack Jeffrey have been working to protect and restore them. 60-70% of the plants in Hawaii... read more »

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Kipukas and Akis

One of Hawaii’s rarest forest birds is this ‘Akiapola’au. Some of the roughly 1,000 'Akis left on earth live and breed in kipukas on the lower slopes of Mauna Loa, Hawaii’s largest active volcano. A kipuka is an island of native forest surrounded not by water but by recent lava flows - a green... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Mark Twain and Tropicbirds

When Mark Twain visited Hawaii in 1866, he was able to inspect a live volcano, Halema’uma’u, which he described as “a crimson cauldron.” Twain concluded his impressions of the hellish scene by writing, “The smell of sulfur is strong, but not unpleasant to a sinner.” That eruption came to an end... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

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