There are native Hawaiian Coots in my backyard…

Coot amongst ducks

Today’s short post is mostly going to be photos of a native bird that can still be easily seen here on O’ahu. Not in some far off reserve, but a short 20 min. drive from downtown Honolulu.

There are many grave issues when you talk about conservation in Hawaii. We may have just lost the Po’ouli in 2004, for instance. But there are glimmers of hope. Take the Hawaiian Coots (Fulica alai) living in the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden.

The Ho’omaluhia Garden is situated right behind a little neighborhood in the town of Kane’ohe. A man-made lake was built in the 60’s to prevent flooding in the area. Now, aside from the plant specimens, people come to the garden to relax by the lake and enjoy seeing the assemblage of wetland birds that have taken advantage of the fresh water. That includes the native coots.

Every case, every animal, every plant is different. But this is what I am always asserting: We already share this planet, we just need to share it better. In this instance, the lake’s main purpose is to control floodwaters. In the mean time, we also managed to create habitat decent enough that native birds have re-established themselves in a semi-urban environment. Enough talk, here are the pictures:

The stalking theropod...

An uncommon visitor: Anser albifrons, Greater White-fronted Goose

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