Attempt to breed Hawaiian crows at nature reserve fails

HILO — The first breeding attempt by a pair of Hawaiian crows in the wild in nearly 20 years appears to have failed.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Tuesday that officials at the Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve did not find offspring at a nest the birds built.

Researchers at the state park on the Big Island saw the crows, Manaolana and Manaiakalani, display behavior associated with egg incubation earlier this month, but then found no sign of chicks in the nest beyond the point when eggs would be expected to hatch.

While the female, Manaiakalani, continues to act as though incubating, researchers say it is normal for alala — the Hawaiian name for the crows — to perch on infertile or otherwise nonviable eggs until realizing they will not hatch.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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