[Tweeters] Off-Topic - Hawaii Birding Trip Photos

johntubbs at comcast.net johntubbs at comcast.net
Mon Sep 2 11:15:16 PDT 2013

Hi folks,


I finally got around to uploading photos from our Hawaii trip last month to my website.  There are 34 images, starting at the following link - http://www.tubbsphoto.com/-/tubbsphoto/gallery.asp?cat=186344


The Hawaiian endemics shown in various photos are: Apapane, Amakihi, Akiapola'au, I'iwi, I'o, Oma'o, Nene, Koloa, Palila and Hawaiian Coot.   Multiple other species, including introduced species are shown as well.


Perhaps the most interesting photos are of the Akiapola'au, due to its unique bill structure (straight, strong lower mandible coupled with a much longer, strongly decurved upper mandible) - which almost appears deformed, but has evolved to allow the lower bill to be used as a woodpecker would, and the upper bill is used as an extraction tool for food items.  Also, there are several pictures of a Black-crowned Night Heron, which is not that unusual a species; however, in Hawaii, these birds may feed at the ocean's edge, perched on black lava rock with surf in the background - not the habitat one imagines for this species. 


There is a photo of an I'o - Hawaiian Hawk - which on two occasions on two different days landed very close to our group.  Our guide indicated that in his 18 years of guiding, he had only had a couple of other situations where an I'o landed that close, and never twice within three days.  On the second day, at the start of one of our hikes to a birding area, another I'o (or the same one?) flew directly over our group, no more than 30 feet overhead.  After those three incidents, the guide indicated that the Hawaiians would interpret the birds' proximity to the group to it being the totem (I forget the Hawaiian word for the term) of someone in the group.  Interestingly, Trisha's Japanese side of the family, which has been in Hawaii for four generations, has as its mon (family crest) a design with two crossed hawk feathers.  Interesting...




The trip was definitely the highlight of my birding 'career' thus far. 




John Tubbs

Snoqualmie, WA

johntubbs at comcast.net




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