February 21st 2003
This beautiful creature
was photographed
on 5 and E road
in Hawaiian acres.
Proudly holding
not five feet from us
its fresh prey,
a dove.
High resolution files are available
for free to schools.

all photos copyrighted
PRIMAL PHOTOGRAPHS
for use please contact webmaster






Hawaiian Hawk
(Buteo solitarius)

Although the Hawaiian Archipelago
was once home to an eagle,
a harrier, and a hawk,
only the Hawaiian Hawk, or 'Io,
managed to survive the
human colonization of
the Hawaiian Islands.
Today, the Hawaiian Hawk
is listed as a
federally endangered species,
threatened by illegal shooting
harassment of nesting birds,
and degradation of native
forest nesting habitat.





Identification

Hawaiian Hawk is the
only species of hawk
found in Hawaii.
It has two different color morphs
--one light and one dark--
which are roughly
equal in abundance.
Dark-morph adults
are dark brown overall
(often appearing black in the field),
with a gray tail lightly
barred with brown.





Light-morph adults are
also brown above and
have a gray tail,
but they have pale underparts
with brown streaks on the breast.
Immature light-morph birds
are a striking golden
buff on the head and
breast with dark upperparts.





Conservation

Hawaiian Hawk was listed
as Endangered under the federal
Endangered Species Preservation
Act in 1967. In 1984, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
published the Hawaiian Hawk
Recovery Plan, which included
the following recommendations:
(1) monitor population status
(2) maintain suitable habitat for
feeding and nesting, including,
conservation of remaining native,
forest habitat
(primarily 'ohi'a and koa forests);
(3) enforce prohibition of taking; and
(4) evaluate potential impacts of
changes of pesticide use.
In 1993, the Fish and Wildlife
Service proposed changing the
status of the hawk to Threatened,
based on breeding studies of the species.




However, based on the uncertainty
that remains regarding Hawaiian
Hawk's population trend
this proposal to downlist the species
was later withdrawn, and additional
population and breeding surveys
were recommended.
Population surveys are currently
being conducted to establish
population trends, and research
studies are examining the breeding
success of the species in
different habitat types.
These surveys and studies
should provide valuable information
in determining whether or not
Hawaiian Hawk should be
recategorized as a Threatened species.

(this text is from the AUDUBON SOCIETY,
website:http://www.audubon.org/bird/



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