|one-lane bridge on the way to Hanalei|
The Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge was just down the road from where we were staying on Kauai. We knew it was a spot to check out from some of our target birds, but we had no idea it was THE place to go. We quite literally ticked one of the list as we pulled off the main road and entered the refuge, walked 20 metres, ticked off another, and had all of our target birds within about 5 minutes. These birds are very reliably seen here and for the most part you won't see them as easily anywhere else. The area of the refuge that is accessible and that we visited is a taro field. You have to stick to a short section of the road and they are very strict about that.
|view of the taro field|
The first bird we spotted was a moorhen. Do you think I can find these at home? At the HNWR, they were so easy to spot. The Hawaiian Moorhen is a subspecies of the Common Moorhen that can only be seen in Hawaii.
#251: Hawaiian Moorhen ('alae 'ula), HNWR, March 2013
#252: Hawaiian Stilt (ae'o), HNWR, March 2013
The Hawaiian coot differs from the American Coot, which has a red "jewel" on its forehead.
#253: Hawaiian Coot ('alae ke'oke'o), HNWR, March 2013
While it is written about American Coots, check out this really interesting article on coot behaviour. We saw observed some of it here! it was hilarious!
The Hawaiian duck appears similar to female mallards and interbreeding is common in these closely related birds. Kauai is the only place to see genetically pure Hawaiian ducks. I'm not saying these are pure...but I didn't have a DNA test handy..ha! On that note, can you count hybrids? Check out "What birds can I count on my life list?" They were one of the harder birds to observe--they didn't like to get too close and had to be observed from a distance.
#254: Hawaiian Duck (koloa maoli), HNWR, March 2013
|male front, female behind|
There was a nest of black-crowned night herons on the other side of the road. We got good looks at the juveniles, and every so often, there would be a great great rustling of the bushes as one departed or arrived.
#255: Nutmeg Mannikin, HNWR, March 2013
|paddling practice on the river. interesting that there is an outrigger on one side only. not what you see here at home. I guess the outriggers would help in choppy ocean waters that we don't get here!|
|view from the road|
#256: Cattle Egret, Princeville off Kuhio Hwy, March 2013
Kauai Part 1: Two Chickens in Paradise (#237-241)
Kauai Part 2: All the magic seabirds that live by the sea... (#243-248):
Kauai Part 4: Coming soon!
Kauai Part 5: Coming soon!