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Manu Minute: The chestnut-bellied sandgrouse

Ann Tanimoto-Johnson Chestnut bellied sandgrouse (male and female), AMT_4967.jpg
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson
Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse are sexually dimorphic in their plumage. Males are sandy brown-colored with a thin black breast band and chestnut-colored belly, while females are sandy brown with black bars on their backs and mottled neck plumage. Can you identify which is which in the above photo?

Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse are one of the handful of gamebirds introduced to Hawaiʻi in the 20th century for recreational hunting purposes.

The Hawaiʻi Division of Fish and Game released sandgrouse on Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island, but the birds only established breeding populations on Hawaiʻi Island, where they inhabit the dry landscapes of Waikōloa and shrublands in Kohala to this day.

In their native deserts, sandgrouse make use of scarce water resources by soaking their belly feathers in water to carry back to their chicks. Male sandgrouse's belly feathers can hold up to 20ml of water.

AMTJ_Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse Spectrogram Video.mp4

Audio credit:  Andrew Spencer, Xeno Canto [XC277093]

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.
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