Category Archives: Birds

Move over mynas

When I pulled in to the parking lot of a local beach park, a flock of mynas was gathered around something on the ground. By time I opened the car door, the mynas were hopping around in a huff because this mongoose had moved in to snatch their spoil.

I suspect the focus of the dispute was rice left over from someone’s lunch, which had been dumped in the lot in the sure and certain knowledge it wouldn’t be there long.

Red-crested cardinal

My bird book says that the red-crested cardinal is present on all Hawaii’s islands except the Big Island. That’s no longer the case, as these photos attest.

Adults are similar in appearance, but juveniles, such as the bird in the lower photo, have a brown head and a darker bill. A native of South America, it was introduced to Hawaii in the 1930s.

The owl who was God

When I took this photo, I was thinking of the James Thurber short story, “The Owl Who Was God,” which can be read here. The main differences between that story and this photo are that pueos have very good eyesight during daylight hours, which is when they’re active, and no animals were harmed in the taking of this photo. The bird flew away shortly after I took it. He does have that look though.

Three of a kind

I saw these three great frigatebirds, stacked up like planes waiting for clearance to land. Not that I’ve ever seen one land. Great frigatebirds are one of those that spend a lot of time in the air, until they return to their roosts. Hawaii represents the northern edge of their range in the Pacific.

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here.

All kinds of backyard birds

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Backyard Birding.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here.

Almost all the birds I see in the backyard are fairly common, but no less interesting for that.

Io flying

There are two kinds of endemic birds of prey in Hawaii. One is the pueo, the Hawaiian short-eared owl. I see these birds on a regular basis, particularly while driving on Old Saddle Road. Search for ‘pueo’ on this blog and you’ll find a raft of photos.

The other endemic bird of prey is the Io or Hawaiian hawk. Search for ‘io’ on this blog and you’ll find a post with the letters ‘i’ and ‘o’ in the title. That’s because I rarely see these birds. I sometimes see them circling high above, scouting for prey, but not where a photo could be taken. And once, an io landed in the yard when it snagged a small rodent. My wife saw this; I was in the bathroom. By the time I emerged, the bird was gone.

So this photo, while not exactly stellar, is a first for me. Again this was a bird circling above the neighborhood. I tried to get photos, but as they tend to do, this one drifted away out of sight. I went round to the other side of the house, hoping to spot it again, and was surprised to see it again, not only gliding back in my general direction, but losing altitude as it did so.

I snapped a few photos before it dipped below the tree line and disappeared for good, and I was happy to get this shot with the sun illuminating the wing and the distinctive beak also prominent.

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here.