4 Blue Birds in Hawaii (+Free Photo Guide)



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Welcome to the enchanting islands of Hawaii, a birdwatcher’s paradise that is home to some of the most exotic birds on the planet. Among these avian treasures, the ones with blue plumage hold a special allure, captivating the heart with their vibrant hues reminiscent of the ocean that surrounds these islands.

In this guide, we delve into the fascinating world of blue birds found in Hawaii, exploring their habitats, behaviors, and what makes them truly unique. To make your birdwatching adventure even more rewarding, we’ve included a Free Photo Guide that will help you identify and appreciate these feathered gems in their natural setting. Let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

Blue Birds Found In Hawaii

Hawaii’s unique geography and isolated location have led to the evolution of an incredibly diverse range of bird species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. The varied habitats, from the rainforests and wetlands to the mountains and coastal areas, provide niches for different bird species to thrive.

However, this isolation also means that many species of the native birds of Hawaii have faced unique challenges, including habitat loss, introduced predators, and competition from non-native species.

Belted Kingfisher

Scientific NameMegaceryle alcyon
Length11–14 in
Wingspan19–23 in
Weight113 to 178 g

The Belted Kingfisher is a distinctive and easily recognizable bird, frequently observed near water bodies, where it can be seen diving headfirst to catch prey.

Appearance: Sporting a prominent crest, the Belted Kingfisher has a slate blue-gray upper body and white underparts. Males possess a single blue band across their white chests, while females have an additional rufous band, making them one of the few bird species where females are more brightly colored than males. Their bill is long, sharp, and dagger-like.

Diet: As expert fishers, Belted Kingfishers mainly prey on small fish, but they’ll also consume crustaceans, insects, and amphibians. They’re known for their hunting tactic of hovering over water, spotting their prey, and then diving swiftly to snatch it.

Reproduction: Belted Kingfishers nest in burrows which they excavate in sandy or earthen banks, usually adjacent to water. The tunnel can be anywhere from 3 to 6 feet long, ending in a chamber. Within this chamber, the female lays a clutch of 5 to 8 white eggs.

Fairy Bluebird

Scientific Name: Irena puella

Length: 9.4-10.2 in (24-26 cm)

Wingspan: 14-16 in (36-41 cm)

Weight: 2.3-3 oz (65-85 g)

The Fairy Bluebird is a visually stunning bird known for its vividly colored plumage and melodious calls.

Appearance: Males are predominantly bright blue with a contrasting black to dark blue plumage, especially on their wings and tail. Females are generally duller, featuring more subdued shades of blue and grey.

Diet: Fairy Bluebirds mainly feed on fruits, particularly figs and berries. They also consume insects and nectar, foraging in the canopies of forests.

Reproduction: These birds usually nest high up in trees. The female lays a clutch of 2 to 3 eggs, which are greenish-blue in color. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and feeding the fledglings.

Java Sparrow

Scientific Name: Lonchura oryzivora

Length: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)

Wingspan: 7.5-8.3 in (19-21 cm)

Weight: 0.8-1 oz (24-28 g)

The Java Sparrow is a small, iconic bird known for its striking appearance and sociable nature.

Appearance: The Java Sparrow features a grey upper body and pinkish underparts. It has a black head with white cheeks, a thick red beak, and pink legs and feet. Both males and females share similar plumage.

Diet: Primarily seed eaters, Java Sparrows feed on a variety of seeds including rice, millet, and various grass seeds. They may also consume fruits, vegetables, and insects occasionally.

Reproduction: Java Sparrows typically nest in tree branches or in buildings. The female lays a clutch of 4 to 8 eggs, which are white in color. Both parents share the responsibility of incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks.

Blue Ground-Dove

Scientific Name: Claravis pretiosa

Length: 6.3-6.7 in (16-17 cm)

Wingspan: 8.7-9.1 in (22-23 cm)

Weight: 1.4-2 oz (40-57 g)

The Blue Ground Dove is a small, somewhat elusive bird known for its beautiful plumage and ground-dwelling habits.

Appearance: Male Blue Ground Doves have stunning bluish-grey plumage with black-spotted wings and tails. Females are brownish-grey with a slight bluish tint and also have bright yellow plumage with black-spotted wings and tails. Both sexes have red eyes and legs.

Diet: The diet of the Blue Ground Dove mainly consists of seeds, small fruits, and insects. They forage on the ground, often in dense vegetation or along forest edges.

Reproduction: Blue Ground Doves usually nest on the ground or in low vegetation. The female typically lays 2 white eggs. Both parents participate in incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks.

Where to Spot Hawaii’s Blue Birds

Hawaii is a paradise not only for beach lovers but also for bird watchers. The diverse habitats across the islands host a variety of bird species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. Here are the top 3-5 locations in Hawaii known for the greatest diversity of birds, particularly those with blue plumage:

  1. Haleakalā National Park, Maui: This national park is home to many native bird species, including the ‘I’iwi and the Maui Alauahio. The higher elevations of the park are some of the best places to spot the rare and endangered birds of Hawaii.
  2. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Big Island: This national park provides a unique habitat for birds due to its volcanic landscape. Here you can find the ‘Apapane and the ‘Oma’o, as well as the endangered ‘Akiapōlā’au.
  3. Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Kauai: This wildlife refuge is home to many seabirds, including the Red-footed Booby and the Laysan Albatross. It’s also a great place to spot the Hawaiian Monk Seal and the Humpback Whale during their respective seasons.
  4. Waimea Valley, Oahu: This lush valley is home to a variety of bird species, including native and introduced species. The botanical garden and natural reserve provide an excellent habitat for bird watching.
  5. Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Big Island: This wildlife refuge is one of the last remaining habitats for many of Hawaii’s endangered birds. It’s an excellent place to see the ‘Akiapōlā’au and the Hawai’i ‘Amakihi.

Hawaii is the most isolated population center on the face of the earth. The nearest state to Hawaii is California, which is about 2,400 miles away.

State’s Blue BirdsBest Spots for Blue Birds
California’s Blue Birds1. Point Reyes National Seashore
2. Yosemite National Park
3. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

FAQs on Blue Bird Species Found in Hawaii

What are the challenges faced by grassland birds?

Grassland birds are a group of birds that are typically found in grassland habitats. These habitats are facing numerous challenges which in turn affect the birds. One of the primary challenges of grassland bird is habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and urbanization. Invasive species, both plant and animal, are another significant challenge. For example, in the Hawaiian Islands, invasive species like the common myna and feral cats have had a detrimental impact on native grassland birds. Additionally, the use of pesticides in agricultural areas can lead to a decrease in small insects, a primary food source for many small birds. Conservation efforts are needed to preserve these habitats and manage the challenges faced by these amazing birds.

What birds have bright red feet?

Birds with bright red feet include the red-tailed tropicbird and the masked booby. The red-tailed tropicbird, found in the Pacific Ocean, is known for its stunning white plumage and contrasting bright red feet and tail feathers. The masked booby, found in tropical oceans, is the largest of the booby species and has distinctive white body, black mask, and bright red feet. These birds are typically found in open seas but come to land for breeding and nesting.

What are the conservation efforts for red-crested cardinals in the Hawaiian Islands?

Conservation efforts for the red-crested cardinal and other birds in the Hawaiian Islands involve controlling invasive species, restoring native habitats, and monitoring bird populations. Invasive species, such as the common myna and rose-ringed parakeet, compete with native birds for food and nesting areas. Therefore, controlling their population is crucial. Habitat restoration involves planting native vegetation and removing invasive plants. Monitoring bird populations helps in understanding the population trends and identifying any potential threats. Additionally, public education and awareness are also essential parts of conservation efforts.

What is the significance of bright yellow plumage in birds?

Bright yellow plumage in birds often plays a crucial role in mating and territorial displays. Many species of birds, such as the common myna and the red-whiskered bulbul, have bright yellow plumage which they flaunt during courtship rituals to attract a mate. It also helps in establishing and defending territory as the bright colors are easily visible and can signal strength and vitality to rivals. Additionally, the bright yellow plumage helps in camouflage among yellow and green foliage, aiding in protection from predators.

How does the breeding season affect the diet of passerine birds?

During the breeding season, the diet of passerine birds, which are small to medium-sized birds, may vary compared to other times of the year. Passerine birds typically have a varied diet that includes small insects, small reptiles, seeds, and fruits. However, during the breeding season, there is an increased need for protein to support egg-laying and chick development. As a result, passerine birds may consume more insects and small invertebrates during this time. Additionally, parents may also feed their young birds with small insects as they are a good source of protein.

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