A first impression may be that Samoa is not particularly rich in bird life. No gulls follow ships or congregate at the harbor. The town birds seem limited to mostly new introductions from Asia--bulbuls and mynas. But more careful observation reveals a very rich bird life--sea birds (terns, boobies, frigatebirds, petrels and shearwaters) touching land here to breed; interesting migrant shorebirds (even bristle-thighed curlews from Alaska) winter during Samoa's summer; and a nearly intact native rainforest avifauna has residents. The forest birds include honeyeaters, and tropical doves and pigeons. Interesting specialties are the easily seen cardinal and wattled honeyeaters, and Samoan starling. Wary (Samoans savor them) are the Pacific pigeons, ground doves and two species of fruit dove.
Did You Know?
During the warm months of the southern hemisphere, Samoa’s humpback whales feed in the rich Antarctica waters, 3,200 miles to the south. When Antarctic's bitter winter sets in, humpbacks seek warmer waters, migrating northward, towards Australia and Tonga. At least some migrate onward to Samoa.