Remember my mentions of the great numbers of songbirds everywhere we went in the islands of Hawaii? Well, things were not always so happy. Centuries ago, the native bird population of the islands enjoyed a life free of predators, so they developed the habit of building their nests on the ground. All was well until rats were introduced via maritime traffic from Europe, and these rats found the easiest prey in the ground nesting birds. At some point it occurred to someone to think that introducing mongoose to the Hawaiian islands would solve the problem of rats. Guess what? Mongoose hunted by day, rats hunted by night, and the bird population was decimated, most species being preyed upon to extinction. Well, nowadays both mongoose and rat have been virtually exterminated, and non indigenous birds (including a very large, healthy population of hens and roosters in the island of Kawaii) have made a comeback.
And what a comeback! We could hear birds singing as we walked down the streets. I enjoyed their singing as I sat in the balconies of the different hotel rooms David and I slept in. The little feathered ones were even present at the outdoor areas of these hotels, and this, of course, included the eating areas. I felt greeted by songs as David and I got a table at breakfast time. We feasted on the luscious papaya, delicious pineapple and canteloupe, as well as on delicious and freshly made omelettes and sausages. But we were not the only ones who enjoyed breakfast. David was delighted to discover that the birds who serenaded us were not shy about getting a little close, some coming right up to the table( that is, landing on the table), to see if we would be generous with them. David had so much pleasure offering breakfast to the little birds, and I loved his descriptions of how some birds were faster than others in taking the food. I do not think I need to tell you here that David and I became the birds’ favorite humans wherever we sat at an outdoor eating area at the hotels. I could swear that in the morning the birds were waiting for us, ready to come to our table and keep us company as we all shared delicious food to start the day.