Did you know that of all the states in the US, Hawaii has experienced the most species loss? That’s probably no surprise, given the exotic/endangered/rare flora and fauna that only lives there.
Today, I’d like to share some of my favorite animal pictures from my recent trip to Hawaii. They’re mostly of birds: some you’re accustomed to seeing in the continental US, and others you may not see anywhere else in the world.
If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii and want to see amazing birds, check out the Hawaii Audubon Society website for tips on where to visit for the best bird views on each island. On Maui, the majority of our bird sightings happened at the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, and its Keālia Coastal Boardwalk. On Kauai, the lighthouse at Kilauea is a must-see area for an amazing array of birds. Even in cases where I haven’t identified the bird, I will identify which island.
While you might be tempted to think the rooster is the official bird of Kauai given the fact that roosters are everywhere there, the state bird is the endangered Nene goose:
I was surprised to see parents letting a young child chase the Nene. A park official had to gently chide the child to stop it from harassing the geese.
If you visit a place where Nene live, please don’t chase them, and be careful when you’re driving. They don’t bother about cars and walk so low to the ground that it’s hard to see them when they’re crossing a road.
There are plenty of other endangered birds in Hawaii, including the Hawaiian Coot:
The Ae’o, or Hawaiian black-necked stilt is also endangered:
I’m fairly certain this is a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron:
I have no idea what this little bird is. Do you know?
Another juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron braves the ocean:
A Rose-ringed Parakeet enjoys its quiet perch:
I did promise at least a few other animals, right?
This is one of my favorite photos from the trip, mainly because I almost missed this well-camouflaged lizard:
I saw several large snails while we were in Kauai. This one was at the McBryde Garden, and I wondered if the snail was resting or eating.
It’s not whale season in Hawaii (though I do hope to visit during the right time of year some day). But we did get to see other cool animals in and around the water. Can you spot the two seals in this photo?
Next week, I’ll share some of Hawaii’s beautiful flowers with you. But for now, I’d love to know which photograph (bird, lizard, snail, seals) is your favorite.