Solomon Islands birds

2008 July 15
tags: ,
by David J. Ringer

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS — It’s a cool, gray morning on the ridge overlooking Honiara. Common Mynas, introduced from Asia, are screeching loudly as always. Sunbirds twitter in the frangipanis, and Coconut Lorikeets zip past from time to time.

Birding is tough in the Solomon Islands. Only a few very common, widespread species venture into the towns and villages. Most of these are colorful, or at least charismatic, but the country’s real jewels — the scarce endemics — prefer to stay in the more densely forested areas, which are largely inacessible without a lot of effort.


The Yellow-bibbed Lory (Lorius chlorocercus) is a beautiful eastern Solomons endemic that will come to the outskirts of town along with Coconut Lorikeets (a split from Rainbow) and Cardinal Lories.

I was happy to discover that my American host is a birder (serendipity!), and we made a couple of runs up Mount Austen and visited a private property along the coast. These trips were rewarding, with Mount Austen yielding several very nice birds like Buff-headed Coucal (awesome!), Chestnut-bellied Monarch, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, and the unbelievably minuscule Emerald Pygmy Parrot.

So from my lists for Guadalcanal and Malaita, you can see that we got some excellent birds, but have really only scratched the surface in this remote and fascinating corner of the world.

That seems to be the story of my life though — and now it’s on to Vanuatu!

Related posts:

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  2. More birds on hats
  3. Mexico’s Coronado Islands: Brown Boobies, cormorants, oystercatchers, and pinnipeds
  4. I think it’s autumn
  5. Bird checklists for Melanesian Islands

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