Tag Archives: Birds

Birds bathing in a pond at Place of Refuge

Birds bathing

Birds bathing in a pond at Place of RefugeBirds bathing in a pond at Place of Refuge

Two Japanese white-eyes and a yellow-billed cardinal take a dip in one of the ponds at Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, also known as Place of Refuge. The ponds are very popular with birds and it’s a good spot to sit and watch them for a while.

For more information about Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm.

Birds bathing in a pond at Place of Refuge

Zebra doves grooming

Another post based on the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, which is ‘Silence.’

Silence is probably the last thing anyone would associate with zebra doves. They’re seen everywhere and their continuous calls are one of the staples of the morning chorus.

Outside the house though is a mock orange, which has a branch that catches the late afternoon sun. Zebra doves like to sit on this branch and bask in the sunshine. Sometimes there’s just one, sometimes a pair, sometimes a family.

These two took the opportunity to engage in a little grooming while they were there, the one helping take care of those hard-to-reach places for the other. And the whole time, nary a peep out of either of them, which is the way all of them are, in this spot, at that time of day. It’s quite a contrast from their morning calls.

A Hawaiian short-eared owl flies over the ground.

A Pueo flying

A Hawaiian short-eared owl flies over the ground.A Hawaiian short-eared owl flies over the ground.

I was driving the Kohala Mountain Road when I saw this Pueo (Hawaiian short-eared owl) hovering. The mountain road is narrow and winding so it was another 100 yards or so before I could pull over to a semi-safe place. Luckily, the pueo was in an amenable mood and hung around the area, swooping back and forth before settling on the hillside.

I love watching them, dropping onto potential prey or ascending into the skies, completely at home in their environment.

Hawaiian Stilts flying at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

Hawaiian stilts flying

Hawaiian Stilts flying at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

’Aimakapa Fishpond, in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, is a good place to see the endemic Hawaiian stilt. Mostly they’re seen wading in the shallows, probing the mud with their long beaks. On this day, however, they took to the air.

I enjoy taking photos of birds in flight, but it’s a challenge. Challenge number one is getting them in the frame. Then there’s the small matter of tracking them and getting settings right. I’m constantly experimenting with the best way to get the picture. Usually I find that by the time I’m organized they disappear behind some trees or settle down again on the flats.

This time the birds were unusually cooperative. They headed out over the water, circled back and returned from whence they came. And they did this more than once so I was able to get a bit of practice in.

I do like seeing birds shot, photographically speaking, against a clear blue sky, particularly the stilts with those long, pink legs. But I also like the context of the water and greenery surrounding the fishpond. I don’t know what the white birds are as this fleeting pass was as good a look as I got. They might be some kind of gull, though gulls aren’t especially common in Hawaii.

For more information about Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, go to nps.gov/kaho/index.htm.

Hawaiian Stilts flying at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park