The great frigate bird is a master thief, a harbinger of storms and the world champion of aerial endurance.
and ‘ōlelo no‘eau, stories and proverbs. “Lele ka ‘iwa, māile kai ko‘o,” for instance, is a saying that means, “When the ‘iwa flies out to sea, the rough sea will be calm.” It is both a weather observation and a phrase that might be applied to, say, a disruptive person whose departure will restore tranquility. “Kīkaha ka ‘iwa he lā makani” means “When the ‘iwa bird soars on high, it’s going to be windy.” It is a saying employed when speaking of an attractive, smartly dressed person—someone whose appearance might cause a stir. When translated directly, “He ‘iwa ho‘ohaehae nāulu” means “An ‘iwa that teases the rain clouds.” This phrase can be used to call out a beautiful young woman or handsome young man who incites jealousy in onlookers.
Among scientists, the ‘iwa has attracted attention for its amazing feats of flight. With its forked tail and seven-foot wingspan, it can soar great distances for months on end without landing, traveling up to three hundred miles a day.
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