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 northern summers, three shorebirds--plover, turnstone, and tattler--nest in Alaska and northern Canada. After nesting, they fly non-stop over 3,000 miles of open ocean to Hawaii. After briefly resting there, they continue another 2,500 miles to American Samoa. The round-trip journey each year is 11,000 miles!