Hawaiian Stilts are called Ae’o in the native language of Hawaii.
They are maybe the longest legged bird in the world for their size, freakishly long. You have to wonder how they balance on those spindly things. They are an endangered sub-species of the Black-necked Stilt and once were a hunted bird. The Ae’o lives in wetlands, mudflats, and ponds on the major islands of Hawaii, those shown here on Maui. Maui and O‘ahu account for 60-80% of them. When I first saw them, I really was surprised at their numbers in this area considering they are endangered.
They nest on freshly exposed mudflats with low growing vegetation like seen in this post at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge. The primary cause of the decline of this native water bird has been the loss and degradation of wetland habitat. Introduced predators like dogs, cats, rats, and mongoose have reduced their numbers.
All along the boardwalk at the Refuge are attractive, posted graphics explaining this information and more on all the visiting birds. Below, they talk about the calls this bird makes.
They really are a beautiful bird and we even saw them along roadside, small ocean bays.
Because they are endangered, next on Nature and Wildlife Pics I look at something I believe to be detrimental to migrating birds just beyond the boardwalk area. What do you think it might be? Tell me if you think this is one cool bird. By the way they are looking at their own reflections, I bet they think they are.