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: The Disappearing 'Akeke'e

Jan 6, 2021
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson, taken at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, San Diego Zoo Global

The 'akeke'e is a critically endangered native bird that is endemic to Kaua'i. Like many other honeycreepers, they can only be found in high elevation forests, where cool temperatures ward off mosquito populations.

Manu Minute: Cattle Egret, The Elegant Invader

Dec 30, 2020
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson

Special thanks to the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use of their field recordings in today's Manu Minute.

The State Department of Agriculture introduced Cattle egrets to Hawai'i in 1959 in order to control fly populations that were harassing cattle herds. But like the non-native Barn owl, the Cattle egret's introduction has had some unintended consequences for native bird species.

Manu Minute: Pueo, The Early Bird

Dec 23, 2020
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson

Special thanks to the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use of their recordings in today's Manu Minute.

The Pueo, or Asio flammeus sandwichensis, is one of ten subspecies of the short-eared owl. With the exception of Australia and Antartica, the short-eared owl can be found on every continent and many Pacific islands. Collectively, it has one of the most extensive ranges in the avian world.

Manu Minute: The Last Kauaˊi ˊŌˊō

Dec 16, 2020
Robert Shallenberger

Special thanks to the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use of their recordings in today's Manu Minute.

Manu Minute: The Warbling White-Eye

Dec 9, 2020
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson

The warbling white-eye is a non-native bird that was introduced to the Hawaiian islands from Japan in the 1920s and '30s. Over the last century, they've become the most abundant bird in the entire state.

From a distance, you might mistake a mejiro for a native 'amakihi, as both birds have olive-green plumage. However, the mejiro has a distinctive white circle around its eye, to which it owes its name.

Manu Minute: ˊApapane, The Flower Fan

Dec 2, 2020
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson

ˊApapane are the most abundant Hawaiian honeycreeper. Scientists estimate that there are over a million individuals throughout the state — about one ˊapapane per person in Hawai‘i.

Like the ˊamakihi, ˊapapane appear to be developing a genetic resistance to mosquito-borne avian malaria, which has helped them sustain their numbers. However, they are still vulnerable to habitat loss and predation.

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 news@hawaiipublicradio.org with the subject line "Manu Minute."