Apapane flourishing, 1939.

Hawaiian Birds

We received word from the news released by the Hui Manuihi [?? Audubon Society ??] that there are now at Kilauea many apapane birds, and it is the one bird that is most widespread there.

Just like the work of those who research all sorts of things, there are some who made a move to study the different birds, and not only in other places, but here in Hawaii as well.

The activity of these people on Kilauea was to go into the forests to look at the Hawaiian Birds that are spread out there, and by them travelling the narrow paths in the Bird Park and entering into the Golf course and reaching the Soldier Camp at Kilauea and then arriving at Kilauea Iki; there were more Apapane than all the other birds put together.

With the research of the rangers of Kilauea National Park, they saw there was a large amount of bugs on the trees these days and that is was has caused an increase in the birds, for that is what the birds eat.

The number of kolea decreased and the mynah [piheekelo] birds are less, and it is believed because of the great cold.

Other Hawaiian birds seen at Kilauea these days are the amakihi and the elepaio.

Therefore according to this report shown, Hawaiian birds are indeed numerous, and the apapane is the most abundant.

[What about today? Are things better? Are things worse?]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 1/11/1939, p. 2)

Na Manu Hawaii

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXIII, Number 37, Aoao 2. Ianuari 11, 1939.

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Offense, Judgement, and Remorse, 1862.

The Tale of the Elepaio and the Water Gourd.

One day, a man named Piiwai went up the mountains to fetch drinking water, for the water of that area was located in the mountains, that being at Kahului, Kona, Hawaii. From one side to the other of that area in Kona, there was water by the ocean, but brackish water, and was not pleasant to drink, and the cool and very refreshing water to drink was in the uplands in the mountains; it is still this way these days, that they go into the mountains to fetch water.

When he made his ascent until this spring, he scooped in his water gourd [huewai] until it was filled with water, and he made his way back until a hill where he rested. He put down his huewai and stood it upright and went elsewhere.

At that time, a bird flew down, an Elepaio, and alighted on the spout of the huewai of that man, and the bird pecked at the huewai of the man until all the water flowed out; the man returned to where the huewai stood and the bird flew away and perched.

But the man saw the bird fly away, yet he did not imagine that his huewai was pecked on by the bird. He grabbed it and lifted it up, and it felt lighter; the man looked at it and saw that there was a hole; he figured that the bird pecked at it until making a hole; his anger at the bird boiled over and said to himself, “Ha! You are one very mischievous bird; I will kill you.”

The man grabbed a rock, and threw it at the bird, hitting it, but it did not die. The bird flew away; it flew away so that its many fellow birds could judge this stoning by the man.

When it flew away in search of the birds, after flying for a while, he first spotted Pueo, the owl; he flew by Pueo and called out like this:

“O Pueo, O Pueo,”

Pueo heard this call from Elepaio; Pueo turned and poised aloft and gently, Pueo inquired like this:

“O Elepaio, O Elepaio, What is it that you want of me?”

Elepaio told of what he did to the huewai of the man in a chanting song [olioli], like this:

“I was hit, By the rock, Of a man.”

Pueo asked Elepaio,

“Who was at fault.” Elepaio responded in chant:

“I was at fault, For pecking,
The huewai, Of the man.”

Pueo said in chant:

“Let it be judged, By the many birds, Among us.”

Elepaio went in search; he flew for a while and saw Io, the hawk, soaring atop the gentle winds, and Elepaio called out:

“O Io, O Io,”

Io turned toward him and asked, “What do you want of me?”

Elepaio answered:

“I was hit, By the Rock. Of a man.”

Io questioned, “Who was at fault?” Elepaio responded:

“I was at fault, For pecking,
The huewai of the man.”

Io said, just as did Pueo,

“Let it be judged, By the many birds, Among us.”

Elepaio took off flying and spotted Amakihi, and Elepaio called out:

“O Amakihi, O Amakihi.”

Amakihi turned and asked, “What is it that you want of me?” Elepaio said,

“I was hit, By the rock, Of a man.”

Amakihi questioned in a chanting song, “Who was at fault?” Elepaio answered:

“I was at fault, For pecking,
At the huewai, Of the man.”

At which point, the head of the Amakihi shook, and he raised his head and looked at Elepaio and said in a chant:

“O Elepaio, O Elepaio, You are indeed at fault,
For pecking at, The huewai, Of the man.
And if you die, It is just, For you are a trouble maker.”

When Elepaio heard these feelings of Amakihi, he grew angry, and he chanted this to Amakihi:

“There it stands, That Amakihi, [Kau pono ka ia, Kela Amakihi,]
Sour tail feathers, Horribly rank, [Pupua awaawa, He hohono pakui,]
If you were to broil it, The sauce would smell, [Ke pulehu aku, He hauna e ke kai,]
There is no meat to begin with.” [Io ole e ka mole,]

Elepaio was through talking with Amakihi and flew away; when he flew away Elepaio was very sad that Amakihi saw his guilt, so he flew away with a heavy heart.

But he was not through with his search for the many birds like he decided. He flew on and Elepaio spotted Iiwimakapolena, the yellow-eyed iiwi, and he called out to it as with the other birds previously.

Iiwi responded just as did Amakihi, that he was at fault. This was the end of his being judged by the many birds, and Elepaio was saddened, and he was truly remorseful in his guilt.  S. W. K.

Kamakela, Honolulu, May 12, 1862.

[It is interesting to compare this 1862 telling with the one put out by Kamehameha Schools Press in 2008 and these bilingual animated videos on Oiwi TV.]

(Hoku o ka Pakipika, 5/15/1862, p. 1)

He Kaao no ka Manu Elepaio.

Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, Buke I, Helu 34, Aoao 1. Mei 15, 1862.

On Owls and wishing organizations who have kuleana would fund reshooting the newspapers, 1893/2012.

Some Recollections about Birds

The Owl.

The Pueo is a smaller large bird, like a hen of a chicken. Its flesh is delicious like chicken or Turkey. It is a very intelligent bird in stealing chicks by swooping down. So too other small birds, like the amakihi, and therefore, it is called a thieving bird, and called an Iwa [Frigate bird]. The owl is not eaten regularly by most people, there are only a few that eat Pueo. Those who eat it are greatly ridiculed. It is in Kula, on Maui, that people eat a lot of Pueo. The perching of that bird is famous at Kula, Maui. This bird is not famous on Hawaii or here on Oahu.

The Pueo is ???? like a Hawk [Io], and its cry is like a whispering “pi——o”. And if the Pueo fights, it hoots.

The eyes of a Pueo are round. Its eyes are large. That is why it is called a Pueo, as it has staring eyes…

[This article goes on, but most of it is hard to make out. I am not even sure about that part that says Kula people ate a lot of owls because of the bad image. Maybe now that Hamilton Library has a super scanner, there can be progress made on reshooting all of the Hawaiian-Language Newspapers?!

Also this is part of a series on birds, but much of it and a lot of this paper in general is hard to read because of the bad images now available.]

(Lei Momi, 7/27/1893, p. 2)

He Wahi Hoomanao no na Manu o ka Lewa.

Ka Lei Momi, Buke I, Helu 30, Aoao 2. Iulai 27, 1893.

On the decline of native birds, 1871.

Locals of the Tuahine Rain are no more.

O Ke Au Okoa:—Aloha to you:

I am sending you a small gift atop your outstretched foundation, should your captain and Editor be so kind, and it will be for you to take it to the shores of these islands so that my newspaper-reading companions may see it, it being the letters placed above: “Some Locals of the Tuahine Rain¹ are no more,” and it has been ten or more years which they have not been seen.

And my friends are probably puzzled about these locals that have gone missing, and you, our old-timers, are all likely saying, not them, here they are, and some people have passed away, but we knew of their passing; but the departure of these kamaaina which I speak of was not witnessed. And this is it, the kamaaina birds of our uplands: the Iwi, the O-u, the Akakane, the Amakihi, the Oolomao, the Elepaio; these are the native birds of these uplands who have disappeared.

And some of you may be questioning, what is the reason for this disappearance? I tell you, it is because of the spread of the evil birds from foreign lands, in our plains, mountains, ridges, valleys, cliffs, forests, terraced taro patches, seashores, and rivers; that is why these kamaaina have gone, because of the spreading of these evil birds among us, and they are damaging the crops, and the food from the forests; rice planted by some are being eaten by these evil birds; and the bananas of the forests are all eaten up by these birds.

What do we gain from these evil birds being spread in Hawaii, and protecting them so that they are not killed? I say that we gain nothing from these evil birds which are hurting our native birds and crops and foods from the forests; because in the past, before the spread of these birds, if a kamaaina of this land wanted to go into the mountains to get thatching or some shrimp, or some oopu, they did not pack food with them, because they thought that there was food in the mountains, like banana, hawane fruit, and uhi; banana would ripen on the plant and then fall, without anything damaging them, but now, the bananas don’t ripen on the plant; they are eaten by these banana-eating mu [mu ai maia] of the forest; bananas don’t ripen, and [now] when you go into the mountains, there is just the oka-i [blossom container of bananas] left and the bananas are lost to these birds; and the kamaaina birds are gone. Where to? Perhaps they all went to Hawaii island.

And I say without any hypocrisy, the decrease of this people was because the arrival of the evil haole to Hawaii nei; it was they who spread the evil sicknesses: gonorrhea [pala] and syphilis [kaokao]. Smallpox [hepera] and leprosy [mai pake] are the reasons that our lahui was decimated, because of the arrival of the evil haole; if all the people who came to Hawaii were like the people who brought the light [missionaries],  then this lahui would not have decreased in number; so too with the arrival of the evil birds to Hawaii nei, which hurt our native birds and plants; this is like the decrease of our lahui with the arrival of the evil haole who spread gonorrhea and syphilis and similar diseases.

Therefore, I feel aloha for the kamaaina birds of my beloved land because they are all gone, and the youngsters of these days question, what are those birds like? They are tiny birds with beautiful voices, and their feathers as well, and they were an enjoyment in our childhood; when times of strong winds arrived, all the birds of the mountains would alight and show up at the doors of the houses which was entertaining for us to watch them flitting amongst the leaves of the ilima in our childhood and they were a playmate in our youth.

Before the arrival of these birds, there was a great abundance of Iwi, Amakihi, Akakane, O-u, Oolokela, and Elepaio, right here above us, atop the clumps of aliipoe, bushes of hau, noni trees, and more upland, the number of birds was amazing, atop the flowers of lehua of the mountain apples, and on the Ahihi and the Lehua Kumakua;  those uplands were so enjoyable but these days, they have all vanished, maybe because there were aggravated by these evil birds.

Here is another thing; if only the coming session of the Legislature could revise the law pertaining to birds from foreign lands, for there are destructive birds that have been imported as well from foreign lands.

And this is a supplication to you, O Ke Au Okoa. With aloha to the one who steers you, and also to the boys of the Government Printing Press. The boy from the uplands is turning back for the Tuahine rain of the land is spreading about.

T. N. Penukahi.

Manoa, June 24, 1871.

¹Tuahine [Kuahine] is the famous rain of Manoa.

(Au Okoa, 6/29/1871, p. 3)

He mau wahi kamaaina no ka ua Tuahine, ua nalowale.

Ke Au Okoa, Buke VII, Helu 11, Aoao 3. Iune 29, 1871.