Posted by: aboutbirds | October 9, 2009

A Surprise Introduced Species Problem in Hawaii


The Japanese white-eye is a cute little bird introduced to Hawaii in the late 1920s to control bug populations. There wasn’t much thought into introducing a new, unusual species to a new habitat and even since then there hasn’t really been a problem. However, researchers have recently noticed that the populations of white-eyes have increased over the years and that some native birds are declining. The researchers noticed that the native bird’s offspring were smaller and malnutrition where white-eyes were in greater numbers. The native birds also suffer from shorter beaks and cannot get food properly. The malnutritioned birds are more susceptible to other threats, such as parasites and disease.

It really seems that Hawaii’s birds cannot catch a break. Not only do they have decreasing habitat, a multitude of other invasive species, and parasites – they have a fellow bird that’s slowly killing them off. I really wish something could be done about such things, but its easier said than done.

Pictured: Japanese white-eye, the offender

Click here for the full article from Science Daily.

Kingfisher2_thumb.png‘Till next time – enjoy!



  1. Your statement “even since then there hasn’t really been a problem” is simply incorrect. There is a plethora of documentation regarding why the introduction of alien birds has been devastating to Hawaii’s birds.

    • You’re completely right, there is a lot of documentation of invasive species having a problem on Hawaii’s birds. I’m not really sure why I said that there wasn’t.

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