Lord Howe Island – Pine Trees and Birds

The most iconic tree on Lord Howe Island isn’t a native at all, but an introduced species – the Norfolk Island Pine. Some sailors thought it would be good wood for ship building – and found out too late that it wasn’t.

The Boathouse
The Boathouse, Lord Howe Island.
Lord Howe Island Trees
The Pine Trees Lodge, Lord Howe Island.

There are lots of trees on the island, and lots of birds that make their home there. Some birds are frequent visitors, like the sooty tern.

Sooty tern
Sooty tern, Lord Howe Island.

Others are native flightless birds like the buff-banded rail.

Lord Howe Island Buff Banded Rail
Buff-banded rail, Lord Howe Island.

This beautiful green dove.

Emerald Ground Dove
Emerald Ground Dove, Lord Howe Island.

And the most beloved bird on the island, the Woodhen.

Adult woodhen, Lord Howe Island.

With no native land-based predators, the flightless birds just took over the island – until the rats came. Just 10 years ago, the woodhen was endangered as the island was over-run by rats. The island embarked on an ambitious rat-eradication program, which was successful, and now the birds are flourishing. We even saw a few chicks running around.

Woodhen chicks, Lord Howe Island.