Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Kona Christmas Bird Count

This was the first time we participated in the Kona Christmas Bird Count! The Christmas Bird Counts are a creation of the National Audubon Society and take place all over the country. They were created over 100 years ago as an alternative to the Christmas tradition of killing as many birds as possible.

Our leader was a local bird guide, Lance Tanino, who we have been looking forward to meeting. He is extremely knowledgeable about birding on all of the Hawaiian Islands. We had about 12 folks participating, some were locals and others were visitors from the mainland.

We ended up finding most of our birds at the local waste water treatment plant. Our total species count was just over 40.

Adult Black-crowned Night-Heron
African Silverbill
Two male Ring-necked Ducks and we "think" a female Ring-necked Duck. The reason we used the word "think" is because the experienced local birders felt it was a female Ring-necked Duck; however, it did not have the typical white on the face. Could it be a Tufted Duck??
We were lucky to catch this immature Laughing Gull feeding at the waste water ponds. Gulls do not live in the islands. Any gulls you happen to see are passing through for the most part and are usually immature birds. The immature birds that get blown off course and find the islands will typically spend the winter here.
Female and male Lesser Scaup
An endemic flowering shrub that is rare along the Kona coast.

The World is Full of Beauty & Wonder,

Turtle & Hawk


  1. Interesting to see many of the same birds I saw on one or the other of four Christmas counts I participated in, in eastern North Carolina.

  2. Yes- along the coast it is all introduced birds and vagrants. You have to get above 4,500' to see the native forest birds due to avian malaria and cat etc.

  3. Eric and I participate in the Christmas bird count when we're at home in Ashland. We were just saying to each other that we want to connect up with local groups to continue the tradition wherever we might find ourselves in our travels! How cool that you joined up with a group on Kona. Wishing you both a joyous New Year!