Pterocles exustus | chestnut-bellied sandgrouse
The Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse is an amazingly powerful flyer adapted to the desert. They can fly upwind through the strongest waimea winds and make diurnal migrations mauka to makai on the kona side to collect water. They have the unique adaptation of absorbing water in their breast feathers that they can then transport back to their nest for their young to sip from. Interestingly, this species was introduced to Hawaii by the Nevada state game department as a test run to see if they were worth importing to Nevada as a recreational game species.
Hotspots for chestnut-bellied sandgrouse
Waiki‘i (off Old Saddle Road)
Pasture and grasslands