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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog - Birdwatching

Total Number of Entries - 80
  • Hawaii's Albatross Ready for Flight

    Destination: Kauai

    Laysan albatross chick sitting in nest in rainSince these chicks pipped some four-and-a-half months ago, they witnessed double-overhead swells pounding the shore below their bluff, they survived heavy rains that bred mosquitoes and an avian pox that twisted the bills of their breathren, and they celebrated Valentine's Day, my birthday, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day and, now, the longest day of the year. But, as you can see, these two chicks are readying for their coming out party.

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  • Laysan Albatross Chick Preens for the Camera

    Destination: Kauai

    Our Laysan albatross chicks sit around waiting for mom and dad to fly in with dinner. The visit lasts all of a few minutes. So what do the chicks do the rest of the week? They preen, for one. And why not? Especially when these cool, new adult feathers appear. It’s like the teenager who spends hours looking at himself in the mirror grooming a few, straggly mustache hairs. It’s not like our chicks have much else to do. So, they tease out the down–you can see it encircling their nest cup–and wait for the feathers that will see them fledge in a little over a month now.

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  • Birds and Time Take Flight in Hawaii

    Destination: Kauai

    Time. It tends to slip away all too quickly.  What with the invention of fax machines, the creation of FedEx and now the Internet, text messaging, Twitter and Facebook, we like to think our generation somehow cranked the handle of time too tightly and is now watching it unravel at an unprecedented rate. And, yet, how do we explain the aphorism “time flies,” perhaps first known in Latin as the expression tempus fugit? Was the Roman poet Virgil a poor manager of his own time? Or was he making a statement for all the people of his day, and, thereby, making the passage of time a human experience rather than a 21st century one?

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  • Laysan Albatross Chick Stretches Its Wings

    Destination: Kauai

    Let’s say you’re an albatross chick.  Consider:  You emerged into this world of greens and blues called Hawai’i in late January.  That makes you almost two months old, which means you’re still a big ball of fluff.  All down.

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  • Building a House in Hawaii

    Destination: Kauai

    My husband and I recently built a home in Hawaii.  Well, rather, he built it, and I shopped for the decorative items, such as new furniture, curtains, light fixtures and paint color. That’s not how it works in the bird world, specifically Red-footed boobies.

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  • Albatross Chicks Hatch Here in Hawaii

    Destination: Kauai

    The albatrosses started hatching earlier this month.  The process of pecking at their calcium enclosure and emerging into this world is called “pipping.”  To date, we have 89 nests and 48 chicks at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

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  • Hawaii Gets Digital TV Early. It’s for the Birds.

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    The Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma phaeopygia  sandwichensis) numbers around 1,000 and nests, primarily, on the slopes of Haleakala on Maui.  This bird, also called a dark-rumped petrel, starts its nesting season in February, and is the very reason why the state of Hawaii transitioned to digital TV one month earlier than the rest of the country.  (No doubt, you’ve seen the ads on TV and received notifications from your cable service provider about this.)

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  • Midway Albatross Count: A Hui Hou.

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Four days have passed since I bid a hui hou to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, and the experience is slipping away like a dream upon waking, or, more appropriately, like an albatross flying off into the sunset.  Midway is fading from an everyday reality into some ethereal event.  I find it hard to conjure up in my mind the sounds of hundreds of thousands of dancing, bill-clacking, sky-mooing, cooing, trusting albatrosses?  Did I really crawl through ropey naupaka bushes and dig Bonin petrels out of crushed burrows?  Can the two-week experience already be over?

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 14

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    A Hui Ho!

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  • Midway Albatross Count: Day 13

    Destination: Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui, Oahu

    Capturing pictures of albatrosses in flight is not easy with my Canon G9 pocket camera, as much as I love its convenience and quality. “Slow” is an apt description of the focusing speed—and, hence, lag—between the time when I depress the shutter button and when the shutter actually takes the picture. Albatross simply fly too fast for my camera to focus.  So, I get a lot of these kinds of pictures.

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