In 2007 and 2008, Eric built over 30 nest boxes for the Puaiohi, an endangered thrush endemic to Kauai, and, in collaboration with the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project, placed them along several streams in the Alakai Wildnerness Area. One of the main threats to this forest bird is predation by alien rats on eggs, chicks, and even adult females at the nest. The goal of the nest box program is to provide nest sites that are safer from rats, and eventually to possibly expand the range of Puaiohi by providing nest sites in areas that lack the natural cliff nest sites usually used by this species.
I am pleased to report that this year two of the nest boxes along Kawaikoi Stream have been used by Puaiohi. Project staff told me that one nest was successful and fledged a chick in late May. We checked on the second nest box on Friday June 10, and it contained an active nest with 2 small chicks! Although only a small number of boxes have been used so far, hopefully this is just the beginning.