Manu Minute: The Long-legged Ae'o

Feb 24, 2021

The ae'o, also known as kūkuluae'o, or Hawaiian stilt, is an endangered waterbird found only in the Hawaiian islands. 


Ae'o were once much more common in Hawaii, but loss of wetland habitat and introduction of mammalian predators has reduced their population to less than 1500 birds.

Hawaiian stilts build their nests on the ground near shallow wetlands. Ae'o are known to aggressively defend their nests by dive-bombing and loudly scolding any intruder, including humans, that comes near.

Ae'o are considered to be the kinolau, or physical manifestation, of the Hawaiian god Kū in his fisherman form.

Want to listen or read more about the birds of Hawai'i? Check out our Manu Minute page.