Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Day of Birding on Kauai

Waimea Canyon, "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"

Erckel's Francolin is native to Sudan and Ethiopia, so at first it seems that Hawaii would not have the kind of habitat this bird needs. But then when you see Waimea Canyon on the island of Kauai, it's immediately clear that there is plenty of rocky, inaccessible habitat here. The canyon is 10 miles long and 3,500 ft. deep. This bird, however, was with several others along the highway that skirts the canyon on the way up to Koke'e State Park. (If you enlarge the photo by clicking on it, you will be able to see 800 ft. Waipo'o Falls farther up the canyon.)

Erckel's Francolin (introduced in Hawaii in 1957)

On this trip I saw very few of the endemic species of birds, except for Apapane, that live in Koke'e State Park, but this female White-rumped Shama (native to Southeast Asia) almost seemed to enjoy sharing the trail with me. She hopped along in front of me, picking up worms or bugs, for about 150 ft.

White-rumped Shama, female


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