Tag Archives: Kaloko-Honokohau Park

Hawaiian Stilts on golden pond

Hawaiian Stilts in a pond at Kaloko-Honokahau Park

My final post in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.

The stilts are odd enough in themselves, with their pink legs and long beaks, but it was the lighting in this image that got my attention. The sun was sinking and the shadows lengthening. But the distinctive lighting in this photo was due to the reflection from a cream-colored trailer parked beside the pond!

Ring-billed Gull

A Ring-billed gull flying in Hawaii
A Ring-billed gull catches a fish in Hawaii
A Ring-billed gull catches a fish in Hawaii
A Ring-billed gull catches a fish in Hawaii

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.

Black-crowned night heron

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Birthdays.’ See more offerings here. I don’t really have anything birthday-related so I’ve plumped for a photo taken on my birthday this year.

This is an adult black-crowned night heron at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, just north of Kailua Kona. I watched it for a while, as it moved around the edges of the Aimakapa Fishpond. In the top photo, the heron is coming in to land, and in the bottom photo, it’s taking off again.

The photo to the right shows the bird perched on a float. This was a good shot for my birthday since, with its large beak and somewhat puzzled expression, the heron looks a lot like me!

For more information about Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, go to https://www.nps.gov/kaho/index.htm or bigislandhikes.com/kaloko-honokohau-park/.

Hawaiian coot diving

I saw this Hawaiian coot at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, north of Kailua Kona. It was puttering around in one of the inland lagoons, periodically diving for food, as it is in these photos.

For more information about Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, go to https://www.nps.gov/kaho/index.htm or bigislandhikes.com/kaloko-honokohau-park/.

Two views of a beach at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

These two photos were taken at different times, different years in fact, of one of the beaches at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. The park is just north of Kailua Kona, the largest population center on the west side of the island. It’s a park I visit at least two or three times a year because it’s easily accessible and is a good place to see turtles, on the beach or in the water, and also birds on ’Aimakapa Fishpond, on the inland side of the sand.

The top photo looks north (that little lump on the wet sand is a resting green turtle). The bottom photo looks south (those little white specks are people). The thing is, these two photos are how the beach looks every time I visit. A few people will walk along it, but most go to the more protected beach at the south end of the park. And this situation is similar to many on the Big Island. If you’re willing to walk a quarter or half mile from any beach nearest the parking lot, then peace and solitude is almost certainly yours.

For more information about Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, go to https://www.nps.gov/kaho/index.htm or bigislandhikes.com/kaloko-honokohau-park.

White-faced ibis

I think this is a white-faced ibis. According to my bird book, Jim Denny’s A Photographic Guide To The Birds Of Hawai’i, it is an occasional visitor and all reports have been of juveniles or birds in non-breeding plumage. It also notes that it is very similar to the glossy ibis, but doesn’t include a listing for that bird in the book. So I’m going to stick with the white-faced ibis identity unless someone has a better idea.

This one was wading in the shallow of the lagoon behind the beach at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. The yellow float was one of several isolating an area where restoration work was taking place. The lagoon is a popular spot for many birds, both endemic and visiting.

For more information about Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, go to https://www.nps.gov/kaho/index.htm or bigislandhikes.com/kaloko-honokohau-park/.

Green turtle closeup

Green Turtle closeup

A Hawaiian green turtle lifts its head after resting on the sand at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. The park is one of many good places on the island to see turtles, either on the beach or foraging in the shallow waters there.

For more information about Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, go to https://www.nps.gov/kaho/index.htm or bigislandhikes.com/kaloko-honokohau-park/.