Hawaiian Hawk (‘Io)

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Scientific Name Buteo solitarius
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Description

’Io are medium-sized birds of prey that can grow up to 16 inches for males, and 18 inches in length for females. Like all raptors, they possess three forward facing toes on each foot and one facing backwards. All of them have long, curved talons for ripping and tearing. In adults, the flesh around these claws is yellow, while in juveniles, it is more green. ’Io come in two color phases: The Dark Phase, in which their entire bodies are covered in dark brown feathers, and the Light Phase, in which they sport white undersides and wings.

Fun Facts

  • The ’Io are endemic to the Hawiian Islands and are found nowhere else in the world.
  • Although the species is present on all of the main Hawaiian Islands, this species is currently only known to breed on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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