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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog - Birdwatching

Total Number of Entries - 80
  • Dancing Red Tailed Tropicbirds

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    At Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, we (or, at least I), call these seabirds, “Valentine’s Birds.” For two reasons: 1) They arrive at the refuge in early February, around Valentine’s Day, every year; and 2) Their tail feathers and bill are painted a striking red.

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  • Banding Laysan Albatross Chicks

    Destination: Kauai

    At 3.5 months, Laysan albatross chicks  wear a combination of downy fur and adult plumage. It’s a little like playing dress up in your mother’s closet or wrapping a pillow case around your shoulders and playing Superman. Albatross chicks sport bright white feathers on their chests, their wings are wrapped in adult plumage; however these seabirds’ heads and throats are still covered in down.

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  • Red-Footed Boobies Like to Shop at Home Depot. What?

    Destination: Kauai

    It's Friday.  That means it's "Lighthouse Day" for me, and I couldn't ask for a better day.  Sunny skies and 74-degree temperature warms my skin and just enough of a light trade breeze keeps me from overheating.

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  • Laysan Albatross Chicks Hatch in Hawaii

    Destination: Kauai

    This ball of fluff otherwise known as a Laysan Albatross chick is 7 to 10 days old here. A full two-thirds of this albatross species uses the string of Hawaiian Islands stretching from Hawaii in the southeast to Midway in the northwest as its nesting grounds. For another few days one of its parents (both mom and dad are required to see this little guy--or girl--fledge come Julyish) will sit on it until it can thermoregulate on its own.

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  • Guest Blogger: Pam Mandel

    Destination: Oahu

    It's a short walk from my position as an unsophisticated bird looker to birding mania, to some kind of performance attire, a laminated card, and a pair of very expensive binoculars. Thing is, I am inscrutably fond of birds. I pretend not to know them by name, but really, I do, I look them up and more and more, I recognize them by voice, too. After all, a coot does not sound like a duck, not one bit, really, and those little red hatted cardinals sound nothing like the morning doves that make such an appealing racket as the sun comes up over the Pacific. 

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  • Now in Video: Kilauea Point

    Destination: Kauai

    And now, a video that visually says what I tried to put into words in my last post: There is alway something happening at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

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  • The Best-Kept Hawaiian Vacation Secret Around

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Early November is not known for being a busy time in Hawai'i. It's like the pause between the in-breath and out-breath. That time right before the holidays when craft fairs, parties and concerts vie for spots on my calendar and when vacationers enjoy some time off from their hectic lives. And yet, for me, early November is one of the most exciting times in Hawai'i and that just might be the best-kept Hawaiian vacation secret around.

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  • Blog Action Day Hawaii Style

    Next month, we expect about 100 pairs of Laysan albatrosses will return to Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge to breed, lay a single and care for their one chick until it fledges some time in July. Factor in three birds for each nest site (not all birds breed), and I don’t even need a calculator to sum up the fact that Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge doesn’t contribute much to the overall Laysan albatross population. Not compared to Midway.  But that may change.

     

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  • Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

    Destination: Kauai

    Visit Kaua‘i’s National Wildlife Refuges during National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 11 - 17, and celebrate America’s wildlife heritage! Our National Wildlife Refuge System is made up of more than 550 refuges throughout the United States. From Alaska to Puerto Rico, from Maine to Guam, Refuges protect more than 95 million acres set aside to conserve habitat for birds and other wildlife.

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  • Hawaii's Migratory Birds

    Destination: Kauai

    Wedge-tailed shearwaters are migratory. Just like the Pacific Golden Plover that arrived in my yard today from the Arctic—it will stay until April or May. Just like the Laysan albatross. Just like Lee Sass.  You know Lee Sass. He served as my mentor at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, answering my myriad of questions about the seabirds--and, let me tell you, I can ask an annoying amount of questions. I recounted an incident on this blog last December about a mysterious bird perched on a rock on Moku’ae’ae Island, just north of Kilauea Point. Without looking, Lee predicted the seabird in question was a Great Frigatebird. Even with binoculars, the bird was difficult to identify. A crowd gathered. We debated. Lee stuck with his original guess; the rest of us decided the perched bird was a brown booby. Lee wasn’t convinced.

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