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Nihoa Millerbird - A Tropical Tragedy on Hawaii

Nihoan Miller Bird - copyright Crystal Smith - digital painting
Nihoan Miller Bird - copyright Crystal Smith

The Nihoa Millerbird lives on the tiny island of (you guessed it) Nihoa! Which is in the Hawaiian Islands. Right now he needs some attention, as his species in on the critically endangered list. Although the Millerbird has brown coloring, it’s time he got a little more vivid and bright to make people notice him.

This digital painting shows the Nihoan Millerbird sitting in front of a bright background, with a yellow border. “Look at me!” He’d love a little help to grow the population of Millerbirds and get him and his friends off the critically endangered list.

Find out why he’s endangered below or grab a print here.


What is the threat to the Nihoa Millerbird? Why are they still critically endangered?

1) Lack of rain, which means less vegetation and therefore less bugs and tasty treats. This gets worse every year as the earth heats up.

2) Hurricanes and severe storms keep the population low.

3) An outbreak in the population of grasshoppers (nonnative) ate through the vegetation on the island, which the birds eat and nest in. This could be repeated in years to come and cause even more of a decline.


Small but with a definite expression of attitude, the Nihoa Millerbird has beautiful brown and cream colouring. I am hopeful that endeavours to create another population of these birds on a near-by island, will help to bring them back from the critical list.

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