I am finding birds make good subjects when it comes to taking photographs, and there was no shortage of colorful birds to take pictures of while in Honolulu. On day one I discovered that I had to closely guard my plate when eating things like this cheeseburger, since the local pigeons would jump on the table to steal food.
The rock pigeon (Columba livia) was one of the most common birds I encountered in Honolulu, and it seemed at times there were more pigeons inside open air restaurants than there were customers. “Do Not Feed the Birds” signs were common but I witnessed many tourists feeding birds while dining. White pigeons like the one shown here look prettier to me when up in a tree posing for a photograph with a twig vs a french fry.
I saw lots of feral chickens and roosters during a day trip to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Park. There are wild chickens all over Hawaii’s parks, and apparently there’s a great abundance of feral chickens in Kauai. I’ve also seen plenty of feral chickens on Maui. I think most of the birds are accustomed to being fed, since they showed little fear and stayed pretty close while taking their pictures.
This colorful blue and gold macaw (Ara ararauna) was a chatty bird but it’s not a Hawaiian local. We had an exchange of hellos while I snapped a few pics. The Hilton Hawaiian Village property (where I stayed) had an abundance of birds living on the property, mostly in the lawn areas of near the Koi fish ponds.
A group of pink flamingos are also residents on the Hilton Waikiki property. I didn’t see them move too far from where they are here on the lawn, sometimes they waded in a nearby pond, not sure what specific species of flamingo these are either. Colorful birds though.
The Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) was a bird I saw often perched in and around the Koi fish ponds. They are the same species of bird I see in Venice Beach hunting along the canals. They are great birds to photograph since they are typically standing still waiting to ambush prey (like fish and frogs). One day I’ll sit long enough to photograph one catching breakfast or dinner.
The spotted dove (a.k.a. spotted turtle dove) was a species of bird I saw quite a bit while walking/running in Ala Moana State park. It’s a great park (starting point for the Honolulu Marathon) that lots of local birds call home. Besides spotted doves, there were many zebra doves (a bit smaller than the dove pictured here and they have a bluish head), pigeons and other birds. I saw a pair of red crested cardinals flying around, but I didn’t get a chance to take their photograph, they looked like they had red mohawks.
The African black footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is not a bird one would expect to see on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. There were several of these cute penguins living on the Hilton Hawaiian Village property. I’m pretty sure their caretaker took them in each night, but during the day they got to walk around and swim in a small enclosed environment that was also home to a number of water turtles and Koi fish. Since 2010, the black footed penguin has been listed as endangered under the U.S.A Endangered Species Act.
The photo above shows a man dancing in the distance at Ala Moana State Park with a large following of his feathered friends. Some people don’t care for birds (I personally find them annoying when they are trying to steal your lunch) and others can’t get enough of them. While I noticed some parks in the Honolulu area had signs posted that it was illegal to feed birds, others didn’t have such signs.