Tag Archives: Nene

A walk from Spencer Beach Park to Hapuna

On the Ala Kahakai Trail between Spencer Beach Park and Hapuna
The beach at Mauna Kea Resort.

A few days ago, I posted here an image from a recent walk along the coast to Hapuna beach. I thought I’d post more photos from that walk for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme of ‘Paths and Trails’ (more responses here), and for Becky’s Squares theme of “Walking” (more responses here).

The trail crosses beaches large and small.

Of course, besides the views I was on the alert for anything moving on the beach or in the air.

Other parts pass through trees and other vegetation.

Three Nenes

Three nenes in Hawaii

I saw these nenes in the sugar cane field above Upolu Airport. Not only are there an odd number of them, which is odd in itself since I usually see them in pairs, but the one at the front is sporting a tracking box in his back. I’ve seen two nenes in this area with these boxes, though there are undoubtedly more around. It’s been nearly two years since I saw this bird with the tracker and more than a year since I saw the other two.

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

Radio-controlled nene?

Two nenes stand in a puddle with some myna birds
Two nenes with identifying tags
A nene with a tracking device on its back

I saw these two nenes sharing a puddle with some myna birds alongside the runway at Upolu Airport. A closer view (second photo) shows the identifying tags on the birds’ legs. These are the same two birds that had a gosling in this location last year, which I posted about here.

The third photo reveals a box on the back of the male of this couple. This is a tracking device that was placed on the bird by the East Hawai’i Division of Forestry and Wildlife. They track the birds to help them understand their behaviors and movements. I thought it looked a bit big, but the bird didn’t seem bothered by it.

I had written here, ‘In due course, and probably after not too long a time, the box will fall off and the bird will be unencumbered again.’ but then I saw this pair again yesterday and the box was still there. On the plus side, both birds continued to look in great condition.

Gray days

A helicopter emerges from the clouds off the Big Island, Hawaii
Two nene feed on a rainy day

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

The top photo is finally getting scheduled after being lined up for a previous Sunday Stills challenge with the theme of ’emerging.’ I was walking along the coast on a damp, gray day, when I heard a noise out over the water. I couldn’t see anything, but the noise got louder. Finally, this helicopter emerged out of the clouds. It looked like a military helicopter, which would have been the most likely thing flying in those conditions, and which tend to be louder than the average helicopter.

In the second photo, a pair of nene chow down on a strip of grass beside Upolu airstrip’s gray tarmac under an equally gray sky.

Upolu landscape

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your Favorite Landscape.’ See more responses here.

When I think of the landscape at Upolu, it includes both the ocean that borders it and the skies above. They are, in my mind, integral to the place. But here, I’ve focussed on the land, a relatively small area of a few square miles where I walk most days. It’s rural, agricultural, and coastal. It’s historic and modern. It’s also a place I never return from feeling disappointed. There’s always something of note that I see or that happens when I’m there.

Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

Signs: Nēnē crossing

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Unusual.’ See more responses here.

Nēnē, the endemic Hawaiian geese, are long-distant relatives of Canada geese. They were listed as an endangered species, until the end of last year when their status was changed to ‘threatened.’

Because of the nēnē’s precarious numbers, it isn’t unusual to see “Slow, Nēnē Crossing” signs, particularly in areas where nēnē breed. Because their numbers are on the rebound on the Big Island, it’s also not unusual for me to see nēnē, on my daily walks or when I was working. But in my years on the island, I never saw a nēnē anywhere near one of the warning signs, until earlier this year, just before the lockdown. This sign and these two birds were in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where a fair number of the birds live and breed.

I had to stop and get a photo of this unusual event, fortunately without getting myself or the birds killed (it’s a busy, narrow road). The only disappointing thing about this encounter was that neither of the nēnē actually crossed the road. I guess I’ll have to wait another seven years to witness that.