Manu Minute: The Cali valley quail
What was on your wish list this holiday season? An electric toothbrush? The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde? Socks, a tried-and-true staple?
What about a LIVE bird?
If that seems out of left field, take a look back at the origin of the California quail in Hawaiʻi. This medium-sized game bird first arrived in the islands in 1818 as a gift for King Kamehameha I from a visiting ship captain.
The Cali quail took a liking to our tropical climate and became a common sight across the islands by the end of the 19th century. But since then, predation, hunting and possibly disease have reduced the quail's population to just a few birds on the slopes of Maunakea and Maunaloa on the Big Island.