Japanese White-eye, Zosterops japonicus


Japanese White-eye
Native to east Asia, these little birds were introduced to Hawaii in 1929 to aid in insect control, and have since become the most
common landbirds in the islands. I photographed this one in Haena in the north of Kauai, an island on which they are especially
abundant, with a population estimated at more than 250,000. They clearly belong in the ornithological category "really, really
cute" (excuse technical jargon), but they also threaten fragile native species by competing for food in a shared forest habitat, and
through diseases brought from the Asian mainland.