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Manu Minute: Sanderlings in the sea foam

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When most people finish the long flight to Hawaiʻi, they like to kick back and relax.

The same cannot be said for sanderlings. They hit the ground running as soon as they arrive in the islands each winter.

The best place to spot them is dashing around shorelines, tide pools, and wetlands hunting for crabs and mollusks.

Their name in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, Hunakai, means "sea foam," referencing their habit of hanging out right where the tides recede.

Even Hunakai chicks are overachievers. They are able to feed themselves soon after hatching, and some are already able to fly after just two and a half weeks!

AMTJ_ Manu Minute Hunakai (Sanderling) Spectrogram video.mp4

Audio credit: Charles A. Sutherland/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML3063)

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 the energy and climate change reporter. She is also the lead producer of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast. Contact her at sharrimanpote@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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