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Millerbirds Return to the Island of Laysan

American Bird Conservancy and USFWS - helping birds!
© Rob Kohley View Large

In September 2011, the research vessel Searcher sailed for Laysan Island from the Hawaiian island of Nihoa. It carried eight biologists from American Bird Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - and 24 Millerbirds. Laysan was once home to Millerbirds, but they disappeared long ago, due to invasive rabbits. The rabbits are now gone, and on September 10th the Millerbirds were released onto the island. Within a month, observers recorded seven singing pairs of Millerbirds and even two nests.  Be sure to check the links below to see photos and learn more about this project.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
 
Millerbirds Return to the Island of Laysan

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
[from He Aloha No’o Honolulu]
In September 2011, the research vessel Searcher sailed from the Hawaiian island of Nihoa on a voyage that opens a hopeful, new chapter in the story of Hawaii’s birds.
[Sounds of a ship on ocean]
Aboard Searcher were eight biologists from American Bird Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – and 24 Millerbirds. Until now, these small warblers – named for the miller moths they eat – were found only on the unpopulated island of Nihoa in northwestern Hawaii.
[Millerbird song, calls]
Three days later, Searcher arrived at the island of Laysan (pronounced LAY-san). Laysan was once home to Millerbirds, but they disappeared in the early 20th Century, along with other animals and plants, because rabbits had been imported. As they multiplied, they ate the island to the ground.
Laysan has since undergone a long, slow ecological recovery. On September 10th, 2011, the 24 Millerbirds were released onto the island. Within a month, observers recorded seven singing pairs of Millerbirds and even two nests. [Millerbird song]
While it’s still very early, the return of the Millerbird to Laysan after a 100-year absence is a story of environmental resilience and dedicated conservation.
[A phrase of Hawaiian slack key]
Today’s BirdNote brought to you by the Lufkin Family Foundation. There’s more to the story at birdnote.org. I’m Michael Stein.
 ###
Musical selection from He Aloha No’o Honolulu performed by Ledward Ka’apana from the album Kiho’lau Hawaiian - slack key guitar produced by Rhythm and Roots records, 2005.
Sounds of the Millerbird provided by American Bird Conservancy, recorded by M. MacDonald on Nihoa Island.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2011 Tune In to Nature.org     December 2011   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# SotB-MILL-01-2011-12-30 

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