Erosion Always Wins: Kauai

Originally posted on Wickersham's Conscience:
Waimea Canyon from the lower lookout, Kauai, Hawai’i In WC’s Geomorphology class, on the first day, the professor (whose name WC has forgotten) told us, “If you only take one thing away for this course, it should be this: Erosion always wins.” If you need proof of that claim, you should visit Kauai, the oldest of the principle islands… Continue reading Erosion Always Wins: Kauai

Birding Koke’e State Park

Originally posted on Wickersham's Conscience:
It’s pronounced “ko-kay-ay.” It’s a state park at the headwaters of the Waimea River on Kauai Island, 4,000 feet above sea level on the upper slopes of the heavily eroded remnants of the central Kauai volcano. It holds the largest part of the remaining native forest that formerly covered most of the island. That forest is mostly above 3,300… Continue reading Birding Koke’e State Park

Return of Bird of the Week: Laughing Falcon

Originally posted on Wickersham's Conscience:
If the Great Black Hawk has a lame name, the Laughing Falcon’s is dead on. The call sounds a lot like demented laughter, and is a signature sound of the Neotropics. When a male and a female get to dueting it will sometimes make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Only the morning chorus of… Continue reading Return of Bird of the Week: Laughing Falcon

Birding Kauai: The Introduced Birds

Originally posted on Wickersham's Conscience:
WC described some of the introduced songbirds that are found on O’ahu. Most of those species are found on Kauai now as well. But WC found a few additional species, some of them unique to Kauai and some that WC just missed on O’ahu. And where WC got better photos of an introduced species on Kauai, those are included,… Continue reading Birding Kauai: The Introduced Birds

Birding Kauai: Oceanic Birds

Originally posted on 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… Continue reading Birding Kauai: Oceanic Birds

Birding O’ahu: The Introduced Songbirds

Originally posted on Wickersham's Conscience:
Many of O’ahu’s native bird species are gone. The Polynesians and westerners brought in too many invaders: pigs, rats, mongoose, cattle, goats, chicken and, worst of all, avian malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Island ecologies are notoriously fragile. and the Hawai’ian Islands proved to be no different. Today, native bird species, especially O’ahu’s amazing songbirds, are mostly gone. Invasive species dominate the… Continue reading Birding O’ahu: The Introduced Songbirds

Searching for a Fairy (Tern)

Originally posted on Wickersham's Conscience:
O’ahu Island and Waikiki Beach in particular are not WC’s and Mrs. WC’s favorite places in the Hawai’ian Islands. Maybe even least favorite. If you want a big city in the tropics there are lots of birdier places. But O’ahu is the only birder-accessible place on the planet to see Fairy Terns, a/k/a White Terns. Sure, they nest in… Continue reading Searching for a Fairy (Tern)

Birding O’ahu: Some Native Birds

Originally posted on Wickersham's Conscience:
As WC described yesterday, many of the endemic birds are gone. Marine birds have fared a little better, especially where the State of Hawai’i or the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have worked to fence out the human-introduced rats, feral cats and mongoose that eat bird eggs and hatchlings. He’s a selection of native birds, some resident and some… Continue reading Birding O’ahu: Some Native Birds

Birding Kauai: The Migrants and Native Birds

Originally posted on Wickersham's Conscience:
A final Hawai’i bird post, focusing on migrant birds that fly to Hawai’i for the winter and then back to their breeding grounds for the summer and a few native birds that hang around year-round. Several species of shorebird make that trek across the North Pacific. The first is the Pacific Golden Plover. Pacific Golden Plover, Kauai This species… Continue reading Birding Kauai: The Migrants and Native Birds