We studied the breeding ecology of the critically endangered Puaiohi (Myadestes palmeri), a poorly known Hawaiian thrush endemic to the island of Kauai. From 1996 through 1998, we monitored 96 active nests over the course of three breeding seasons. Mean clutch size was 2.0, and pairs produced an average of 1.5 fledglings/successful nest. Pairs renested after failure and some raised multiple broods. The mean annual reproductive effort was 2.1 nesting attempts/territory, and pairs produced a mean 1.1 fledglings/attempt. Large differences in nesting effort and productivity occurred among years, with mean number of fledglings/territory ranging from 0.4 to 4.9. Predation by owls (probably Short-eared Owls, Asia flammeus) and introduced rats (probably black rats, Rattus rattus) accounted for most nest failures. The presence of non-breeding floaters in the population and their largely unsuccessful attempts to gain territories in the study area suggest that the population is near carrying capacity. The high reproductive potential of the Puaiohi may help explain its persistence despite the species' historical rarity.
Additional publication details
Breeding ecology of the Puaiohi (Myadestes palmeri)