NECN - The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are home to eight pairs of millerbirds that have been observed breeding for the first time in 100 years. Wildlife managers have reported seeing the birds building nests at Laysan, which is 940 miles northwest of Honolulu.
The small, grey-brown birds were relocated to Laysan from Nihoa Island in an attempt to establish a new population and avoid the birds' extinction. The first eggs were located two weeks ago. Two pairs were incubating eggs while a third pair was feeding nestlings.
"The birds' rapid acclimation has exceeded expectations," said Loyal Mehrhoff, field supervisor for the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Service.
Twenty-one of the two-dozen pairs have lived through the winter storm season. While the remaining three pairs have not been seen in months, they are conceivably living elsewhere. They were brought to their new home on Sept. 10 of last year. There are plans to move a second group to Laysan soon.