Guadalcanal, a picturesque island located in the South Pacific, is home to an extraordinary variety of animals and plants. One of the most fascinating groups of animals found here are the birds.
These feathered creatures have evolved unique adaptations to survive in their rugged island environment. From rare species like the Solomon Sea Eagle and the Guadalcanal Moustached Kingfisher to the more common Crimson Rosella and the Rainbow Lorikeet, the birds of Guadalcanal offer ample opportunities for birdwatchers to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of this island.
In this article, we will delve deeper into the world of birds that inhabit Guadalcanal and explore their fascinating characteristics and behaviors.
1. Buff-headed coucal
The Buff-headed Coucal is a striking species of bird found in the Solomon Islands. It has a large, buff-coloured head and black wings speckled with white spots.
Its long tail feathers are tipped with white and its beak is curved like that of other coucals.
This species lives in lowland and mountain forests as well as secondary growth areas, where it feeds on insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, ants and termites.
In addition to their diet they also eat small fruits which help them maintain energy levels during cold nights or periods when food is scarce.
A shy but sociable animal, this beautiful bird will often congregate near rivers or wetlands looking for food together while singing melodically throughout the day.Scientific classification:
Also Featured In: Solomon Islands birds,
2. Hooded whistler
The Hooded whistler is a species of bird from the Pachycephalidae family. It is found in Guadalcanal, which lies within the Solomon Islands. Its natural habitat consists of subtropical and tropical moist montane forests.
Until 2014, it was thought to be the same as the Bougainville Whistler but since then has been classified as its own distinct species.
The hooded whistler can easily be identified by its distinctive black head plumage with white mottling on top and sides as well as streaks down their throats that give them an almost “hood” like appearance.
They have bright orange-yellow breasts with greyish flanks and short tails that are often fanned out while they fly or hop across branches searching for food such as insects or berriesScientific classification:
Also Featured In: Bougainville Island Birds You Need to See,
3. Woodford's rail
Woodford's rail is a species of bird found in the Solomon Islands archipelago, and is the only surviving member of its genus (Nesoc). It lives mainly in moist lowland forests and swamps, but can also be found around rivers, freshwater lakes and marshes.
This species has unfortunately been threatened by habitat loss due to human activity such as deforestation.
Woodford’s rail primarily feeds on insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates that it finds either near or underwater. In addition to this diet they will occasionally feed on seeds from plants making them omnivorous creatures.
They are surprisingly good at keeping themselves hidden within their environment with camouflage plumage which helps keep them safe from any predators who may be looking for an easy meal.Scientific classification:
4. West Solomons owl
The West Solomons owl is a small to medium-sized bird found in the Solomon Islands. It has a rusty brown upper body with white spots and bars, and its chest is buffy white, sometimes spotted or barred with brown.
The creamy belly of this owl species is unmarked. This stunning bird also possesses a grayish-brown facial disc which contrasts beautifully against its pale eyes that are edged by narrow strips of white feathers.
This unique combination makes it one of the most attractive owls around.
Its size ranges from 23–31 cm (9.1–12.2 inches), making it an ideal companion for nature lovers who wish to observe birds without having to go far out into the wilds.Scientific classification:
5. Black-headed myzomela
The black-headed myzomela is a beautiful bird species endemic to the Solomon Islands. Its most distinctive feature is its striking black head, and it has a bright red body with yellowish wingbars and tail tips.
The adult males have an orange bill while females usually have dark bills.
This small perching bird lives in subtropical or tropical moist montane forests found at altitudes of up to 1100m, where they can be seen foraging on fruits and nectar from shrubs and trees.
They are also known as ‘flowerpeckers’ due to their diet which consists mainly of flowers, pollen, petals and other floral matter.
Despite being common in their native range they face potential threats from habitat loss due to agricultural activities such as logging or farming so conservation efforts must continue if this unique species is going to survive into the futureScientific classification:
6. Brown fantail
The Brown fantail bird belongs to the family Rhipiduridae and is found in Bougainville Island and Guadalcanal. With a length ranging from 9-14 cm, it is a small dark-colored bird with a long tail that it spreads out like a fan.
Its name is derived from the brown color of its plumage. The Brown fantail is often observed displaying erratic flight patterns while hunting for prey.
It mainly feeds on insects and spiders. Its habitat ranges from tropical rainforests to gardens and parks.
The Brown fantail is known for its distinctive vocalizations and is often seen chirping and singing. It is an active bird and frequently moves its tail up and down.
The Brown fantail is a fascinating species that adds color and liveliness to its surroundings.Scientific classification:
7. Meek's lorikeet
Meek's lorikeet, also known as Vini meeki, is a beautiful parrot species from the family Psittaculidae. It resides in Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
With lush green feathers, it manages to camouflage itself in the subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest. Sadly, the species is at risk due to habitat loss.
Previously assigned to Charmosyna, Meek's lorikeet was later assigned to the genus Vini. This magnificent bird is fascinating to behold and is sure to catch the eye of any birdwatcher.Scientific classification:
8. Moustached kingfisher
The Moustached kingfisher bird is found only on the Bougainville Island of Papua New Guinea. The species is a part of the Alcedinidae family and is also known as the Bougainville moustached kingfisher.
Unfortunately, the population of this bird is dwindling and there are believed to be only 250 to 1000 mature individuals remaining. They live in subtropical or tropical lowland forests and montane forests.
These birds are known to build their nests in these types of environments. They have distinct facial features which include a mustache-like stripe under their beak.
Their existence highlights the importance of preserving natural habitats and protecting endangered species.Scientific classification:
9. Brown-winged starling
The Brown-winged starling, scientifically known as Aplonis grandis, is a type of bird in the Sturnidae family. This beautiful species can be found in the Solomon Islands archipelago, where it thrives in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
Known for its distinguishable brown wings and black plumage, the Brown-winged starling is a popular sight amongst bird enthusiasts.
Despite its beautiful appearance, it is relatively unremarkable when it comes to vocalizations. Although not much is known about this species, it is thought to have a diet consisting of fruit and insects.
Overall, the Brown-winged starling is a fascinating bird species that contributes to the beauty of the Solomon Islands.Scientific classification: