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Manu Minute: The melodious laughingthrush

Ann Tanimoto-Johnson, Melodious Laughing thrush.jpg
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson
Chinese hwamei are roughly the same size as cardinals. Their plumage is rusty brown save for distinctive white bands around their eyes. Their most notable feature, however, has to be their lovely song.

Chinese hwamei are shy birds and often hard to spot. But you wouldn't suspect their demure nature from their beautiful song, which will definitely capture your attention.

Hwamei are also called melodious laughingthrushes (one of the kinder common names in the bird world). You can find them across the archipelago, though you'll likely have better luck on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui or Kauaʻi. Keep your eyes trained on the ground as they like to hide among dense shrubs and underbrush.

Or you can save yourself the trouble and enjoy the hwamei's song on today's Manu Minute!

AMTJ_Melodious laughing thrush Spectrogram video.mp4

Audio credit: LOHE Bioacoustics Lab at UH Hilo

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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