Manu Minute

Wednesdays on The Conversation on HPR-1
  • Hosted by Patrick Hart

Need a break in your day? Whether you're in your car or your kitchen, or still in bed, Manu Minute brings you the rich sounds from Hawai'i's native forests and shorelines. Each week, we feature a different Hawai'i bird and its unique song, and talk about its environment and conservation.

Trying to identify a bird? Call us on The Conversation's talkback line at 808-792-8217 with your name, where you're from and your email so we can reach you if we have questions.

Manu Minute is a collaboration between HPR and the LOHE Bioacoustics Lab at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. The series is hosted by Patrick Hart, the lab's principal investigator, and produced by HPR's Savannah Harriman-Pote and Ann Tanimoto-Johnson of UH-Hilo.

Manu Minute: 'Ōma'o, The Sly Thrush

Nov 25, 2020
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson

The 'ōma'o  is one of two remaining thrush species in the Hawaiian Islands. The other is the puaiohi, a critically endangered species found only on Kaua'i.

'Ōma'o enjoy a diet of fruits and berries, as well as the occasional arthropod. They play a critical role in the seed dispersal of native plants, such as the 'ōhelo 'ai and 'ōlapa.

Manu Minute: 'Akiapōlā'au, The Would-Be Woodpecker

Nov 18, 2020
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson

'Akiapōlā'au get the most buzz about their beak, which is uniquely adapted to their insectivore diet.

First, they use their strong lower bill to peck holes in tree branches. Then, they use their decurved upper bill to forage for insects and larvae within the branch. If you happen upon this "Hawaiian woodpecker" at lunchtime, you might hear the tap-tap-tap sound of their beaks pecking at the trees as they hunt for food.

Manu Minute: 'Ua'u, The Seabird

Nov 11, 2020
Jim Denny

The 'ua'u belongs to the expansive Procellariidae family, which encompasses over 50 species of petrels. These seabirds can be found across all of the world's oceans and nearly all of its seas.

Like its seafaring cousins, our Hawaiian petrel spends nearly all of its time on the open water. But between March and November, 'ua'u will return to the highest peaks on the Hawaiian islands, such as Haleakalā on Maui, in order to breed and raise their fledglings.

Manu Minute: 'Amakihi, The Forager

Nov 4, 2020
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson

With over 850,000 individual birds on Hawai'i island, the 'amakihi are among our most common honeycreeper species. Still, a sighting of this yellow singer is a treat for any birdwatcher.

Manu Minute: 'I'iwi, the Scarlet Honeycreeper

Oct 27, 2020
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson

This is the first in a series of stories about Hawaiian songbirds, their environment and their conservation. They are based on "Manu Minute," a new weekly segment on HPR's The Conversation. Have a question about Hawaiian birds or a comment on this series? Call our talkback line at 808-792-8217 and leave us your comment or question, name and email address, or email us at with the subject line "Manu Minute."