Ko'ae / Tropic Bird

Graceful, acrobatic birds of the tropical oceans (between 30 degrees N and 30 degrees S), with long tail feathers, white or red. They nests on cliffs and in trees and may be seen inland in Hawai'ii over rain forests or volcanic craters, rising on updrafts. They plunge into the water to catch fish and squid, controlling their twisting, spiralling dives with their short wings as they target their prey. Air sacs in their necks break the impact. Pelagic, they are capable of long flight, flapping, then gliding; they rarely fish in sight of land; they occassionally rest on the surface of the sea, with tail cocked. Solitary, they sometimes follow vessels at sea, perhaps out of curiosity or looking for fish scattering before the prow.

Ko'ae 'Ula (Red-tailed Tropic Bird)