Aloha from Hawaii! This US state is an international destination for so many people. While this wasn't a birding trek per say, we did a lot of birding while at our destinations. So I studied my birds like crazy before our trip.
|Common Waxbills on Oahu|
In between everything, there were more exotic birds. The two of us would ask each other which part of the island we liked more. There are SO many different habitats that it was hard to pick just one. But overall, I liked the highland country where it was cool and misty. On our way to Haleakala National Park, I fell in love with the grasslands. Then again, I also loved West Maui along the beach. Or wait! Maybe I liked the road to Hana more! Yes, the names of the birds and places will have you puzzled as you try to twist your tongue around these foreign sounding words.
We'd walk random paths and see random things. I liked it. Everything was VERY relaxed on this island. The traffic wasn't an issue and the people were very kind.
|The mighty Isis rises from the ocean waves|
I laugh now wondering if I'd ever get to see a Common Myna in Hawaii. I don't laugh anymore because this is an invasive bird. But I couldn't hate the bird for being there. They were introduced by people who were not educated and not aware of the fragile ecosystem of the islands. This bird is only surviving like the human rats that cover this world. It is as common as a Rock Pigeon, House Sparrow, Grackle, or American Crow. They are VERY smart birds. I watched them maneuver around the unaware tourists who left their food unattended. I got the sense that they are as smart or smarter than a jay, raven or gull. I saw intelligence in their eyes like when I observe a raven or parrot looking at me.
|the very Common Myna|
On a personal note, it has been a year since my Grandma passed. On this night at the luau, I thought about her and how much she would have loved this event. This very iconic show is as cheesy as it is cool. It reminded me of the movie Dirty Dancing where all the rich people got together and did rich people things. NOTE: I am not rich. I budget and don't have kids:) That last part of that sentence is the important one to note:) It reminded me of the stories my parents and grandparents used to tell me. It's what people THINK Hawaii should be. And so it is for them.
Here's my birder take on my first trip to the islands. Like a surfer, it takes practice to understand how the birding world flows. In Trinidad, I conquered the birds. On Maui, I "failed" my first time and within reason. I picked up all of the birds except TWO very rare ones. It's not really a failure but I don't like dipping on endemics in isolated areas. It means I'll have to go back to Maui for only one day to pick up these very endangered birds which pains me. There's not enough time in this life to retrace footsteps. The next time I go, they may be extinct. They are well protected as they should be. It was out of my control so I did the best I could.
|Grey Francolin, one of the more challenging birds to approach|
But I will not stumble again on my next trip back. I will be better prepared. Over the next 3 weeks, I'll break down what I saw in great detail. Hawaii may be paradise for humans, but for its endemic birds, the story is a dark and complicated one.
"Mahalo" for following Las Aventuras. Until next week my friends!