Tag Archives: Cane Grass

Favorites from 2022

Surf crashes ashore on the North Kohala coast in Hawaii
January: High surf crashes ashore in North Kohala. (link)

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your 2022 Year-in-Review.’ See more responses here. Like last year, I’ve gone with a favorite photo from each month of 2021, with a caption and link to the post the photo first appeared in.

A Common Waxbill feeds on cane grass seeds
February: A Common Waxbill grabs a mouthful of seeds. (link)
A Monarch butterfly on purple bougainvillea flowers
March: A Monarch Butterfly on a bougainvillea. (link)
A Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle swims by
April: A Green Turtle swims by. (link)
Three cats resting in Hawaii
May: A trio of cats hard at work! (link)
A photo of an owl in a car wing mirror
June: How to keep birds off your car. (link)
A view of Green sand beach (Papakōlea) on the Big Island, Hawaii
July: The green sand beach near South Point. (link)
A white-tailed tropicbird flying over North Kohala, Hawaii
August: A White-tailed Tropicbird glides by. (link)
A Black-crowned night heron struggles o get out of an algae covered pond
September: A Black-crowned Night Heron struggles to get out of a pond. (link)
A Spinner dolphin leaps from the waters off Hawaii
October: A Spinner Dolphin leaps from the water off North Kohala. (link)
Two manta rays in the waters off Hawaii
November: A pair of Manta Rays swims toward me. (link)
A cloud forms over the site of the eruption on Mauna Loa , Hawaii
December: Mauna Loa erupted for the first time in 40 years, capturing attention and changing the weather. (link)

There’s more than one kind of bird feeder

A Common Waxbill feeds on cane grass seeds
A Common Waxbill feeds on cane grass seeds
A Common Waxbill feeds on cane grass seeds

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Feed the Birds.’ (See more responses here.) We don’t put bird feeders out here so I was going to go with a selection of birds feeding out and about. But a few days ago, I was reminded that, while we don’t put out bird feeders, it doesn’t mean we don’t have them around.

Right now, the cane grass bordering the property has gone to seed and has been attracting birds. Seeing them is one thing; getting photos another. The cane grass is up to 10 feet high and the little birds that feed on them are notoriously skittish and will take off in an instant. I’ve found my bathroom window to be a good spot for photography – as long as it’s clean! The window looks out at the level of a lot of seed heads, but they’re usually in motion because of the wind and the little birds working them over. And other stalks of cane grass swish back and forth, obscuring my view of the birds and playing havoc with my focusing.

However, I was lucky enough to get photos of two recent visitors. The top trio of photos show a Common Waxbill stripping a seed head that was nicely illuminated and in an open spot right across from the window. The bottom three show a Nutmeg Mannikin. This one hopped around more, but stayed long enough that I was able to get several photos.

Both waxbills and mannikins generally travel in small flocks. This waxbill was the only one I saw clearly, but I saw others flitting about and could hear them in the vicinity. The odd thing about the mannikin was that it was the only one I saw or heard. Also, as the sun went down, I went outside to see if I could get better shots from a different angle. This bird did not seem bothered by my presence. Normally, mannikins would disappear at my appearance (I don’t take it personally!). I suspect this one was a juvenile that was, hopefully temporarily, separated from the flock and hadn’t learned about the many dangers facing it.

Also posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.

Green anole shedding

A Carolina green anole shedding in Hawaii
A Carolina green anole shedding in Hawaii

I noticed something on the cane grass, with a strange shape and some kind of long beak. I wondered if it was a new bird, but then saw it bobbing its head up and down and puffing out the dewlap at its neck. It was a green anole and it was shedding. The ‘beak’ was a chunk of old skin sticking out.

By the time I got my camera, the ‘beak’ was gone, but there were still areas around the head to be dislodged. Sometimes it can take quite a while to remove the last bits and pieces. This anole moved on to complete the job in a bit more privacy.

Common waxbill

A common waxbill eating cane grass seeds

Common waxbills are an African species and were first seen on Oahu in the 1970s. Now they’re present on other islands including the Big Island. Lately, they’ve been snacking on the cane grass seeds that are currently available here.

Nutmeg mannikin

Nutmeg mannikin (Lonchura punctulata) is also known as scaly-breasted munia and spice finch. They feed on grass seeds. Here, a mannikin is feeding on cane grass seeds. It will work its way up the stem until the whole plant is stripped and the farther up it goes, the more the stem bends.