Tag: oahu

The Confusing Dove Situation

Hawaii has a few more dove species (Mourning, Rock, Spotted, and Zebra) than San Diego does. Although you can see Spotted Doves here, I haven’t had the pleasure yet so I was excited to see them in O’ahu.

I was struck by how much smaller the Zebra Doves are compared to a Spotted Dove (which is similar in size to a Mourning Dove or Pigeon). You can see in the pictures above the size difference. Man, the zebras were everywhere! It’s like Hawaii’s pigeon (although it has those too). The zebras also varied a lot in shade (see above pics) which surprised me.


Peace in the Darkness

Black-crowned Night Heron Juvenille
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron at Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples in O’ahu. This is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been, despite the crowds of visitors. My husband found this heron staying perfectly still on the edge of a small side pond. You would have mistaken it for a statue for as long as it we stared at it without any moment.

We’re Golden?!?

There was an abundance of Pacific Golden Plover all over the area we were staying. If you’ve ever seen one stateside, this is not what you are used to it looking like. It’s winter coat is very different than it’s plumage for the rest of the year.

I’ve been going back and forth comparing these photos to the Black-bellied Plover since they are SO similar in their nonbreeding plumage. I can’t seem to find any good distinguishing marks between the two other than the black-bellies have a white stripe on their wings during flight, but obviously that doesn’t help with these photos. Let me know if some of these are labeled wrong. Thanks!

A Bunch of Red Butts

Ok, really red vents, but that’s not as good of a title. I saw quite a few Red-vented Bulbuls and Red-whiskered Bulbuls while in O’ahu. Unfortunately, that’s not a good thing because they are a fairly destructive invasive species (info here and here) in Hawaii.

I was constantly struck at how colorful many of the invasive species were. I guess with so few predators, you can be as colorful as you want.

Uncommonly Common

Proof that somethings are only boring because you are used to them.

O’ahu is covered with these Common Myna, but I had a great time watching them anywhere we happened to be eating outside (they seem smart like grackles and hang around where humans drop food). Toward the end of the trip, the newness of the myna started to wear off and I found myself looking out for other birds instead…which got me thinking how you stop paying attention to things you’re used to and search for new things instead of appreciating what you already have.

A deep thought from just looking at birds.

Caffeine High

Java Sparrow

I found this tiny Java Sparrow on our recent trip to O’ahu in Hawaii. The ancestors of this little guy are from Indonesia but have somehow found their way to Hawaii (in 1867) and are flourishing there.

Do you blame them? I would probably flourish in Hawaii too.


I recommend Hawaii's Birds created by the Hawaii Audubon Society while you are there.  There aren't many materials about Hawaiian birds and it was very helpful while I there.

I recommend Hawaii’s Birds created by the Hawaii Audubon Society while you are there. There aren’t many printed or online reference materials about Hawaiian birds and it was very helpful.

I’m going to take a small break from my regular posts about San Diego birds and show off a few pics I took on a recent trip to O’ahu in Hawaii. I was there visiting people, so I didn’t get to go out and bird like I would have liked but I did manage to capture some photos while we were out and about (mostly shot from the car or on walks).

So, if you are somewhere cold this holiday season I hope these photos taken in paradise make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you are in San Diego, it’s already warm and fuzzy here so imagine drinking Mai Tais instead. Enjoy!