Tag Archives: Upolu

Nene with tracker

A nene goose with a tracking device on its back in Hawaiii
A nene goose with a tracking device on its back in Hawaiii

In last week’s Sunday Stills, Terri included a photo of a bald eagle with a transmitter on its back. In the comments, I mentioned that those trackers don’t stay on that long. Cue a few days ago when I saw this nene at Upolu. When I see nenes at Upolu, I report them to a contact at the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DNLR). The DNLR uses sighting information to build a picture of where the nenes are and where they go.

This is 32A, a bird I first saw in January of 2020. Back then, he didn’t have a tracker, but shortly after I saw him, one was attached. The DNLR thought the bird might be flying to and from Maui, but it turns out he wasn’t. Instead, the tracker has shown he mostly flies between Upolu, Hakalau, and Mauna Kea, all on the Big Island. However, the tracker is still on and still working, and I learned that they generally work for 3 to 5 years.

The reason I know this bird is 32A, besides the tracker, is that many nenes have bands on their legs to help with identification. In the second photo, the bands can be seen at grass level. The smaller band, on the left leg, is a US Fish and Wildlife tag. I’ve never been able to see any information on this smaller tag on any of the birds I’ve seen. The tag on the right leg is actually gray and shows the bird is one of almost 600 birds that were moved to the Big Island from a golf course near Kaua’i airport, between 2011 and 2016. These birds more than doubled the population of Big Island birds at that time. The fact that the tag is on the right leg means the bird is a male. The fact that the tag is brown and barely readable shows this bird has been wading through some very muddy conditions!

A bounty of butterflies

A Painted Lady Butterfly feeding on a tasselflower in Hawaii
A Painted Lady Butterfly feeding on a tasselflower in Hawaii

I’ve been seeing lots of butterflies around lately, and chief among them are Painted Lady Butterflies. Some I’ve seen when visiting areas I don’t go to often, but even my usual walking route at Upolu, where I rarely used to see them, is all aflutter with them. That’s where I saw this one, feeding off a tasselflower.

Well red

A red windsock at Upolu in Hawaii
The windsock at Upolu Airport with Maui in the background.

This month’s Sunday Stills Color Challenge is ‘Red.’ See more responses here. A variety of subjects for this one!

Better Days: Dead bull

A dead bull is visited by cattle egrets

I came across this bull a while back on one of my walks. At that time, the area had not had rain for ages and the fields were dry and barren. I don’t know whether that was the cause for its demise or whether something else was happened. Either way, the cattle egrets weren’t too bothered, checking out the corpse for insects. The bull was gone the next day, and not because it got better.