Category Archives: Birds

Erckel’s Francolin out for a walk

An Erckel's Francolin watches from a tree branch

I saw this Erckel’s Francolin walking up an angled tree trunk on the side of Mauna Kea. It got to the spot in the top photo, had a look around, and then walked back down again. Francolins prefer to walk everywhere because, being game birds, they know that when they take wing, people try and shoot them.

An Erckel's Francolin watches from a tree branch
An Erckel's Francolin walk on a tree branch

Nene with tracker

A nene goose with a tracking device on its back in Hawaiii
A nene goose with a tracking device on its back in Hawaiii

In last week’s Sunday Stills, Terri included a photo of a bald eagle with a transmitter on its back. In the comments, I mentioned that those trackers don’t stay on that long. Cue a few days ago when I saw this nene at Upolu. When I see nenes at Upolu, I report them to a contact at the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DNLR). The DNLR uses sighting information to build a picture of where the nenes are and where they go.

This is 32A, a bird I first saw in January of 2020. Back then, he didn’t have a tracker, but shortly after I saw him, one was attached. The DNLR thought the bird might be flying to and from Maui, but it turns out he wasn’t. Instead, the tracker has shown he mostly flies between Upolu, Hakalau, and Mauna Kea, all on the Big Island. However, the tracker is still on and still working, and I learned that they generally work for 3 to 5 years.

The reason I know this bird is 32A, besides the tracker, is that many nenes have bands on their legs to help with identification. In the second photo, the bands can be seen at grass level. The smaller band, on the left leg, is a US Fish and Wildlife tag. I’ve never been able to see any information on this smaller tag on any of the birds I’ve seen. The tag on the right leg is actually gray and shows the bird is one of almost 600 birds that were moved to the Big Island from a golf course near Kaua’i airport, between 2011 and 2016. These birds more than doubled the population of Big Island birds at that time. The fact that the tag is on the right leg means the bird is a male. The fact that the tag is brown and barely readable shows this bird has been wading through some very muddy conditions!

Rosy-faced Lovebirds

Rosy-faced lovebirds in Hawaii
Rosy-faced lovebirds in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge is ‘White and Pastels.’ See more responses here.

Rosy-faced Lovebirds are also known as Peach-faced Lovebirds and they have a lot of color variations. I have yet to see a rosy face in Hawaii outside of tourists who’ve seen too much sun. Instead, the local birds tend towards pastel shades whether they’re dining or simply hanging out.

Time to get up!

A rooster crows in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Awakening.’ See more responses here.

There’s no shortage of roosters and hens in Hawaii and the roosters are keen to fulfill their role in making sure everyone knows a new day is dawning. However, it has to be noted that they’re just as likely to awaken you from an afternoon nap as from a good night’s sleep. That’s because they can be heard crowing most any time of day, and sometimes half the night, too. This one was going off at five in the afternoon.