I saw this bird at the ʻAimakapā Fishpond in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. At first I was just focused on a fairly large bird flying toward me, but then it swooped around and down and plucked a fish from the water. It took off again and carried its prize to a rocky strip jutting into the fishpond, where it duly devoured it.
I realized, through this process, that this wasn’t a bird I was familiar with, but I thought it looked like some kind of gull. Back home, my bird book indicated it was most likely a Ring-billed Gull. It introduce the bird with this information: ‘Gulls prefer broad, shallow tidal zones, conditions not found on tropical islands. This fact helps to explain why few gulls occur in the Hawaiian Islands.’
I used to live in Washington State, where gulls were everywhere and a nuisance in many of those places. It’s odd to now live in a place where so many introduced species thrive, but not gulls. Few gulls are seen here and those that are tend to have arrived with the help of winds or shipping. Hopefully, in the spring, it will find its way back to the mainland where it belongs.
Posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.