Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Manu Minute: ΄Iwa, the man-of-war bird

΄Iwa, also known as great frigatebirds, live their lives far above our heads. These birds can soar for hours, days, and even months, without landing. They even have the ability to sleep while in flight!

΄Iwa get a bad rap for their feeding behaviors. They'll use their natural agility to harass other seabirds into dropping their food, which ΄iwa can then scavenge. This practice of "kleptoparasitism" earned them the name ΄iwa, which can translate to "thief," as well as the nickname “man-of-war bird." Despite their reputation, great frigatebirds do catch a majority of their own meals.

Listen to our Manu Minute to hear more about the conservation and cultural significance of the ΄iwa!

AMTJ_Manu Minute Iwa, spectrogram video.mp4

Audio credit: Chandler Robbins/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML32597)

Patrick Hart is the host of HPR's Manu Minute. He runs the Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Lab at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson is the Lab Manager & Research Technician in the Hart Lab/Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Bioacoustics Lab. She researches the ecology, bioacoustics, and conservation of our native Hawaiian forests, birds, and bats.
Savannah Harriman-Pote is a producer for The Conversation and Manu Minute. Contact her at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
More Episodes