Rose-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.
They’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.
The ‘Alae ‘Ula is an endangered Hawaiian waterbird that you don’t see every day, and spotting a baby is even more rare.
This little one was eager to spread its tiny wings and run around a marsh on the edge of Pearl Harbor’s West Loch.
As 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.
Here’s hoping this little one has a long and happy life ahead!
This baby Manu O Ku is getting bigger and hungrier.
Fortunately, mama provides a hefty meal!
That must be a baby Aha, and it’s nearly as long as the baby bird!
It’s a good idea to start at one end.
Down the hatch, with one more on deck.
A 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.
Quite a sight!
A duck calmly claimed a tiny island in a local pond while curious Red Devils surrounded him. The Red Devils are docile in large numbers but if you put two in an aquarium they will fight to the death.
Thursday 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.
Their 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.
Soon after reaching deeper water, I detected motion to my side and was thrilled to see a huge Honu, or Green Sea Turtle.
We swam together for a bit but I eventually turned back as he headed further from shore. Awesome!
A colorful Egret with wild “hair” feathers really stood out during a hike along the St. Johns River in Northern Florida a few years back.
A wild bunny prowled the underbrush.
And a beautiful Blue Heron called out to its friends. We really enjoyed Florida!
Two pretty Cattle Egrets hunted along the banks of a local pond on a recent morning.
Many of the feral cats we run into in Hawaii bear scars from scraps and hard living.
These cats can pose public health problems and devastate native species. But you have to admit that the kittens are as cute as any others.
This veteran brawler was no doubt a cutie not long ago.
Peeking out from the tiny cave in which it was likely born, the kitten has a tough life ahead.
The flash reflection off the mother’s retinas makes her look pretty sinister, and she bears a grim expression compared to her kitten.
What an expression! Good luck, kid.
A feral cat with different color eyes peered through the underbrush. It’s a striking juxtaposition that makes you look twice.
Another with the exact opposite eye color pattern didn’t seem to mind a mosquito on its nose.