Manu Minute: Manu ʻula ʻula, the red bird
The Northern cardinal is the ruby in the crown of any backyard birder.
The cardinal has a dedicated following in the eastern U.S., where it is the official bird of seven states (narrowly beating out the Northern mockingbird). It's also a popular mascot for many schools and sports teams.
Here in the islands, the cardinal is often called manu ʻula ʻula.
It was introduced in 1929. Though the initial introduction was just one pair of mated birds in Honolulu, the local population really got going when a few birding societies purposefully released over 300 cardinals across Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi. Such practices were commonplace at the time.
Although easy to spot due to their dazzling red plumage, their songs are distinctive too. Take a listen!
Audio credit: Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML296875)