ʻAlalā Basics

Who am I?


  • The ‘Alalā is a native bird that has black feathers and a large bill
  • ʻAlalā weigh as much as a football and are over 1.5 feet long from bill to tail
  • ʻAlalā are very intelligent and by far the loudest bird in the forest. They can make incredible human-like cries, screams, and moans



Click here to listen to ʻAlalā calls

Where do I live?

HabitatScreen shot 2016-01-05 at 9.49.53 AM

In the past, ‘Alalā lived in dry and semi-dry forests in the South Kohala, Kona, Kaʻū, and into Puna districts. They would range from 1,000 – 8,200 feet in elevation. According to the subfossil record ʻalalā, or a closely related subspecies, was also found on Maui and Molokaʻi.

These koa and ʻōhiʻa forests on the slopes of Hualālai and Mauna Loa had a lot of fruiting plants in the understory.


A large number of understory shrubs provided food and cover to hide from predators.

ʻAlalā are the only survivor of five corvid species that evolved in the Hawaiian Islands, the other four species went extinct before Western contact.



What do I eat?


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The diet of the ‘Alalā includes:

  • Over 30 species of native fruits
  • Eggs and nestlings of other birds
  • Insects
  • Some nectar, flowers, and dead animals

Their favorite foods include native fruits like ‘Ōlapa, ‘Ie‘ie and Hō‘awa. In fact, ʻAlalā are an important seed disperser for large-fruited native plants.