CFFC – Birds of Hawaii

During my recent trip to Oahu, Hawaii, I found many birds that were not common for me, a mainlander, to see in the “wild”. I always find it interesting to see what kinds of wildlife lives in different parts of the world so I was pleasantly surprised by Oahu’s bird diversity; sharing for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC) – Birds.

Some Hawaiian birds that are not wild on the mainland run wild on the island, even in McDonald’s parking lots, entertaining tourists.

Other birds are similar to mainland birds and are prevalent everywhere, like the zebra doves and spotted doves in the next photos. Their colors are unique compared to the ones in California.

We have parrots in California that seem to show up in the fall, but they have a different colors and patterns in Hawaii–or maybe everything just seems bigger, more colorful, and better in paradise, even if you’re seeing it on a concrete building. This pair of rose-ringed parakeets appeared around the hotel every morning, poking into gutters, eaves, and empty balconies. They’re really pretty, even if they are invasive.

Male and female rose-ringed parakeets fly around concrete hotel every morning and take a break on an empty balcony.

There’s nothing common to me about this Common Waxbill. I’ve seen a variation of this waxbill at the San Diego Zoo’s Africa Rocks Aviary, so I was not surprised to learn the waxbills in Oahu are not native and probably came from Africa. The single bird by herself is a female (the males have a bright red patch on their chests), but usually these birds can be found in groups, picking through the grass for seeds.

Other invasive species on Oahu have become a real problem and love to spend all day begging from tourists. I just like to watch–and not feed!–these fascinating birds (and take photos, of course). I found an adult Brazilian cardinal (males and females look similar) watching tourists eat a nearby table, and when they left, he swooped down to get the leftovers. He ended up discarding a cherry stem, but the juvenile (dull orange top) thought she’d give it a try anyways.

Another unusual (but invasive) finch is the Java Sparrow, who also appears to like pecking through the grass for seed.

I am a big fan of terns, and it amuses me to see everyone’s variations of these birds from around the world. In Oahu, I found a white tern with no black markings on it face, which is different than the ones I see in California. What was similar was the mating behavior, where the male bugs the female while she pretends to be indifferent or annoyed. I usually see the California terns on the sand, but in Oahu, I only found them in big trees.

Despite their sometimes ragged appearance, the Hawaiian Common Myna bird sings beautiful tunes everywhere on the island.

When I saw this next bird, its black crest reminded me of the Phoebe bird that I see in California. Upon a closer look (like the other birds in Waikiki, they like to beg too and aren’t afraid of people), I noticed these birds have a patch of bright red feathers under their tail. I learned that this Red-Vented Bulbul is invasive and is damaging to orchids and agriculture. Unfortunately, they’re also pretty mean to the other birds.

The Pacific Golden Plover is a migratory bird, eventually traveling over 3,000 miles, nonstop, to Alaska in three or four days. I found this one watching me carefully in a big grass area by the beach. These plovers always return to the same area in August and he was probably alone, as they’re very territorial.

This little Cattle Egret, a ground forager and an invasive predator of endangered bird nests, is very common around Oahu.

Thank you for visiting my photo collection of Hawaiian birds. Aloha!

Published by Dawn Palmer

I am an avid nature and ecology lover and enjoy sharing my photography in my blog writings. I will often be out early in the morning or late in the evening with my camera, trying to capture the peacefulness and beauty around me.

9 thoughts on “CFFC – Birds of Hawaii

    1. Thank you! 😊 I’m glad you liked it! Seems Hawaii as a lot of interesting birds, even if they are not native. I kept calling the cardinal “Hawaiian cardinal” until I looked it up. It’s really invasive and damages crops, so I thought I should stop calling it that and go with the right name. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

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