Snaphot: Hawaiian Avifauna

Hawaiian birds

The work by Dr. Helen James and Dr. Storrs Olson has greatly enriched our knowledge of the birds of Hawai’i. I’ve read as many of their *papers as I can. I was surprised to see this awesome mural when I visited the Smithsonian campus at Washington D.C. Aside from the speciose honeycreepers… look at all the other lineages represented in Hawai’i! Crows, Eagles, Flightless Ducks, Flightless Ibis; this great mural shows the other elements missing from today’s birdlife. Oh to have witness this firsthand…

*By the way, the 2011 paper on updating Hawaiian Honeycreeper phylogeny with respects to temporal events is a must read. Telespiza Finches nested deeper within the drepanididae radiation… yowza!

Lerner, Heather R L., Meyer, Matthias, James, Helen F, Hofreiter, Michael and Fleischer, Robert C 2011. Multilocus Resolution of Phylogeny and Timescale in the Extant Adaptive Radiation of Hawaiian HoneycreepersCurrent Biology, 21(21): 1838-1844.

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