Hawai'i is not a place where large native animals abound. You may occasionally see humpback whales break the ocean surface, or a group of porpoises arcing gracefully in and out of the water. `Io (Hawaiian hawk) and pueo (short-eared owls) sometimes hover overhead, and `ōpe`ape`a (Hawaiian bats) flutter across bays and roadways at dusk.
But the island's most noticeable large native animal is the nēnē or Hawaiian goose. Honored as the State Bird, the endangered nēnē symbolizes the precarious existence of Hawai‘i's native birdlife.
The endangered ‘ua‘u or Hawaiian petrel has been targeted for full recovery by the National Park Service and its partners who are actively engaged in restoring habitat, guarding nest sites, monitoring threats and population impacts.
Link to photos of birds in Hawai`i by Peter La Tourrette. (use the menu on the left side of Peter La Tourrette's page to find links to photos of the birds you are looking for).
Did You Know?
Only two butterflies found in Hawai`i are native. The Kamehameha Butterfly (Vanessa tameamea) is Hawai`i's state insect, brightly colored, and larger than the Blackburn's blue (Udara blackburni).