Birding Kauai: Oceanic Birds

Wickersham's Conscience

As a penultimate birding post from the Hawai’ian Islands, WC offers some photos of some native bird species. WC has already reported on the native passerine – songbirds – still hanging on at the highest elevations on Kauai. The remaining birds are migrants, seabirds and shorebirds, who long ago decided Kauai was a good place to come ashore to breed.

The largest of those birds by weight is the Laysan Albatross.

LAAL 20200119 1600

With a body length of about 32 inches and a wingspan in the range of 80 inches, this is a big bird, although it’s only a mid-sized albatross in comparison to its cousins. There are about 15-20 active nests on Kauai, centered on Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge. Most of the population nests on the northeastern islands in the chain, especially on Midway Island. What’s striking about this big bird is how effortless its flight is. It rarely flaps its…

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