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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Birds of Hawaii

There's nothing to break up a long, cold (or not so cold) winter like a tropical vacation.  We spent 8 mind blowing days in Hawaii, and in addition to Humpback Whales, Spinner Dolphins, Sea Turtles and many a humuhumunukunukuapua'a, we saw quite a few new species of bird that we haven't yet witnessed on the mainland!  

I didn't get a good enough look at these guys to properly identify them so I'm not going to guess, but I'm pretty sure they're one of the 12 types of sandpiper found in Hawaii.

Nice legs! 

Spotted Dove

The spotted dove is ubiquitous in Hawaii; their answer to the NYC pigeon.

Common Myna

So is the Common Myna.  Personally, I don't care much for these guys.  They are in the starling family and have typical starling characteristics like being squwaky and aggressive.  Also, they are an invasive species in Hawaii, much like the European Starling is on the mainland.  However, who am I to judge?  They have a goofy little walk that looks sort of Egyptian.  In ancient Sanskrit texts, one of the Myna's names translates to "one who is fond of arguments."  Truth.

Brazilian Cardinal (or Red-crested Cardinal)

We were just waking up on our first day in Hawaii and spotted our first Brazilian Cardinal.  Another common bird in Hawaii, we were awaken every morning on our camping trip with their sweet songs.  Can I get a "wheet-cheer-up"???  Also, these birds are not actually in the Cardinal family.  You wouldn't believe it when getting a look at their red crest.

If you got it, flaunt it!

Northern Mockingbird

How did the Northern Mockingbird find himself way out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? 

...or the Northern Cardinal for that matter!

House Finch and Wife

Looking lovely in Lana'i

White-rumped Shama

Spotted at the Arboretum in the Manoa Valley neighborhood of Honolulu, the White-rumped Shama is native to southeast Asia and was introduced to Hawaii in the early 1900's.  They are very territorial, but are not considered an invasive species in Hawaii. 

Red-whiskered Bulbul

The Red-Whiskered Bulbul is one of two species in the bulbul family that are found in Hawaii.  We also saw this guy at the arboretum and while we didn't get a very clear shot you can clearly see the red undertail coverts.

Above is a picture perfect stream at the arboretum.  There's probably a bird in there somewhere.

On the mainland, we have a G.H.O (Great Horned Owl) update!!  As of 3/10/12, she's still there.  Here's to spring!  Maybe there will be some baby owls in our future.