Sunday, 21 November 2010

Haleakala Birds at Hosmer Grove, Maui, Hawaii – The Iiwi, Apapane, Amakihi and the Alauahio

IMG_6052_1 On the slopes of the volcano called Haleakala, on the island of Maui, in Hawaii, there is a little camp ground just inside the boundaries of the Haleakala  National Park, called Hosmer Grove.

I have been to this grove many times, as there are trails leading from the camp ground to some overlooks, which (if you are lucky),  from where you can watch rare Hawaiian birds flying around above and below you.  If the weather permits, and the clouds aren’t rolling in from below and around you, its worth having your camera with you just incase.

Well, yesterday, I didnt even get to leave the car park to walk the trail. Right behind the sheltered seating area was a flowering lobelia bush, as it turns out one of the only ones around flowering that day. That shrub had at one time five rare Hawaiian Honeycreepers, the I’iwi, on it at the same time, visiting it to feed on the nectar of the flowers. The whole time I was there my camera hardly stopped clicking. I photographed many I’iwe, Apapane, Amakihi and one Aluohio that posted on a tree stump.

View my Maui Birds Gallery for more photos, but here are a few of my favourites.

The I’iwi – Hawaiian Honeycreeper, feeding on the nectar from the flowers on the Lobelia

 The I'iwi feeding on flowers of the Lobelia The I'iwi feeding on flowers of the LobeliaThe I'iwi feeding on flowers of the Lobelia 

The Amakihi – Hawaiian Honeycreeper

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The ‘Alauahio – The Maui Creeper - (very similar in appearance to the Hawaiian 'Amakihi. One can tell them apart by their bills - the 'Alauahio has a shorter, straighter bill - so named because of its feeding habits. It creeps along trunks, branches and twigs, flipping over bark and lichen in search of insects and grubs)