Photo of the Day: Japanese White-Eye is an adorable yet invasive bird

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japanese white eye bird photo

credit: Jaymi Heimbuch

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This beautiful tiny bird is a Japanese white-eye, photographed on the island of Kaua'i where the species has made itself at home to the detriment of native bird species. Introduced to O'ahu in 1929, it has spread to the other islands and is one of the most abundant birds found on the Hawaiian islands. While that's great for this species, it's not great for native species. Not only is it a vector for avian parasites that impact native birds, but it also competes against native nectar-eating birds and is thought to be a reason for the decline in those native nectar-eating species. It also does a wonderful job of spreading invasive plants through seed dispersal, which is highly problematic. It is all too common a story among the many species that have changed the islands forever. And whether or not its population will be culled or the species eradicated is questionable.

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