Rose-ringed Parakeets continue to multiply

xDSCN7731Rose-ringed Parakeets are now a common sight in urban Honolulu.  It wasn’t that long ago when sightings of these “Green Parrots” were infrequent and noteworthy, something a person might mention to their neighbor over the backyard fence.

xDSCN7726They’re beautiful birds but invasive species that can compete with native birds for food and habitat.  They can also be loud, as they tend to fly in screeching flocks.  I really don’t mind the noise, but so many other species are now endangered or extinct for one reason or another.  Pretty soon, people won’t remember a time in which the parakeets weren’t around.  They’re part of modern Hawaii, for better or worse.

A new ‘Alae ‘Ula makes an appearance

xDSCN7067The ‘Alae ‘Ula is an endangered Hawaiian waterbird that you don’t see every day, and spotting a baby is even more rare.

DSCN7103This little one was eager to spread its tiny wings and run around a marsh on the edge of Pearl Harbor’s West Loch.

xDSCN7090As birds go, they’re not exactly pretty with their big, clunky feet and rather plain feathers.  But they’re still fascinating and figure in some traditional Hawaiian stories.

xDSCN7074Here’s hoping this little one has a long and happy life ahead!

Da Monsta Puffa of Ala Moana

xIMG_2797A huge Puffer Fish the size of a small child found itself in shallow water of the Ala Moana Park canal Sunday morning as the tide rushed out.  I unfortunately did not have a real camera so only captured a few smart phone snaps.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen one that big in the canal before.  Also saw several smaller Barracuda amid hundreds of the usual Tilapia.

xIMG_2791Quite a sight!


Not everyone is out of school!

xDSCF0803Thursday was King Kamehameha Day, a state holiday in Hawaii, so I headed to the beach.  A few seconds after entering the water off O‘ahu’s south shore I found myself in a huge school of Weke‘a, or Yellowstripe Goatfish.

xDSCF0808Their colors are subtle and they’re not always easy to see as they glide above golden sand, but there was no hiding this swarm, each fish approximately one foot long.

xDSCF0876Soon after reaching deeper water, I detected motion to my side and was thrilled to see a huge Honu, or Green Sea Turtle.

xDSCF0753We swam together for a bit but I eventually turned back as he headed further from shore.  Awesome!

Rough life for feral cats and kittens

xDSCN1840Many of the feral cats we run into in Hawaii bear scars from scraps and hard living.

XDSC_0210These cats can pose public health problems and devastate native species.  But you have to admit that the kittens are as cute as any others.

xDSC_0786This veteran brawler was no doubt a cutie not long ago.

xDSC_0072Peeking out from the tiny cave in which it was likely born, the kitten has a tough life ahead.

XDSCN5882The flash reflection off the mother’s retinas makes her look pretty sinister, and she bears a grim expression compared to her kitten.

xDSC_0239What an expression!  Good luck, kid.