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Manu Minute: Hawaiʻi's endemic duck

Ann Tanimoto-Johnson Koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck) with duckling.jpg
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson
Koloa maoli, Hawaiˊi's endemic duck species, served as guides for the legendary blind warrior king Imaikalini.

Did you know that Hawaiʻi has an endemic species of duck? This native waterfowl, called the Koloa maoli, resemble introduced mallard ducks, but they have a quack all their own.

Koloa used to inhabit nearly all of the islands, but now their largest populations are on Kauaʻi and Niʻihau.

While they nest year-round, the peak time for duckling spotting is in the mid-to-late spring. A female Koloa may lay and hatch up to 10 ducklings at a time!

AMTJ_Koloa Spectrogram Video.mp4

Audio credit: Dan Lane, Xeno Canto XC235005

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
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