The pueo project is investigating the population size, distribution, and habitat use of the Pueo, or Hawaiian Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus sandwichensis) on O’ahu. The Pueo is an endemic subspecies of the nearly pandemic Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus; Family: Strigidae). The species is thought to have colonized the Hawaiian Islands sometime after the arrival of Polynesians.
Unlike most owls, Pueo are active during the day (i.e., diurnal), and are commonly seen hovering or soaring over open areas. Pueo tends to be more active during crepuscular periods, likely associated with prey availability. Like short-eared owls in continental environments, those in Hawai‘i primarily consume small mammals. Their relatively recent establishment on Hawai‘i may have been tied to the rats (Rattus exulans) that Polynesians brought to the islands.
Little is known about the breeding biology of Pueo, but nests have been found throughout the year. This project aims to better understand the biology and abundance of the elusive, beautiful and culturally significant species.
Have you seen a Pueo? Let us know! or enter your observation through the web portal here: https://www.pueoproject.com/citizen-science