Bird Images of Hawaii
Helping us Smile
Most visitors to the Hawaiian Islands take home with them photographic Images of Hawaii. On Maui, some visitors take Hawaiian photos -- or Hawaiian pics as I have heard them referred to – far and wide from the Iao Valley, up the winding road to Hana and in the historic Lahaina town.
We locals, people who call Hawaii home, consider the land and the life here on Maui to be important. The birds are among some of the special images of Hawaii which represent a segment of the wonders and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. Many professional bird photographers visit the Hawaiian Islands to try to get some really special shots of individual bird species like the free-roaming peacocks, the Hawaiian Ducks, Hawiian-style egrets and the mynahs, and then the many endemic species such as the honeycreepers in their glorious colors.
I am a wanna-be bird photographer with a boxful of Hawaiian photographs to prove it. The laughable, loveable Mynah birds (sometimes spelled as Myna) are some of the characters I want to photograph, but rarely do they let me. I have two Mynah pals who greet me every day when I go to a certain commercial property to feed the feral cats. Immediately, upon hearing my car arrive -- thirty chickens, two roosters and a colony of cats come running from all directions. Then these two little Mynahs, Mr. and Mrs. Alec Mynah, come flying in. The name, Alec, is short for Smart Alec.
Mynah Birds are very Smart
There are hundreds of thousands of pairs of
Mynahs on Maui, each with their own very unique identities, but these two
Mynahs are my challenge. They land, they
waddle, they cajole as the chickens run to and fro to get the chicken scratch I
throw merrily to divert the junglefowl. When I hurry over to feed the feral cats, Mr.
and Mrs. Mynah fly to the top of a fence post behind me so they have their very
own birds’ eye view. On occasion, I have spun around with my camera and pressed: click,
click, click. Mr. and his Mrs.Mynah dive
and tumble away from me. They know I
will throw them each one pebble of cat food when I am finished shoo-ing away the chickens. They
surely know I won’t hurt them, yet they will not let me photograph them up
close. They make funny noises and copy
my whistling, all the while dodging the lens of my little silver box. They don't want any of my chicken scratch. They feed heartily on the big cane spiders in Maui's fields.
The chickens don’t mind the camera. It's as though each rooster quite likes to become a Hawaii bird photograph so he struts right on up to me while I aim and click. As a wanna-be chalk-pasteler, I like to get good pictures of Hawaii birds for future pasteling sessions.
I did get dozens of Hawaii bird photographs of a baby Mynah last year. He sat on my kitchen table several times a day while I fed him with a dropper. I had the special food mixture for baby birds. He wasn’t related to Mr. and Mrs. Mynah of the commercial property just mentioned. This little guy had fallen out of a tree and one of my daughter’s dogs found him. He was unscathed.
Greater Hill Mynahs are common on the Hawaiian Islands
Baby Birds Have Special Challenges
It is illegal in Hawaii to keep a Mynah. My husband would have liked us to keep the baby Mynah. But Mynahs have a bad habit of eating bits and pieces of cockroaches. Somehow this can lead to a very nasty condition for the Mynah. Worms start growing and feeding inside the Mynah’s body. They multiply in number and when there are too many of these worms, they come dripping and gliding out of the Mynah’s eyes. I didn’t know any of this when I was happily feeding our little Mynah.
I was trying to decide if I really want to keep this little Mynah and enjoy his talking ability as it develops. I knew I would be the one cleaning the cage and the floor several times a day if we kept the bird. I also knew we were not supposed to keep a Mynah. I was mulling it over.
After about a week of feeding the baby bird, I began to think I saw something in his eyes, so I put on my glasses. I still couldn’t make out what I was looking at. I called my husband to come have a look. He took one glance and reluctantly told me what he could see. He knew that would be the conclusion of my feeding the bird. I telephoned a bird specialist I had met. She was a bird rehabilitator. My husband and I arranged to meet the lady at the nearby Jamba Juice. We gave her the baby Mynah. She was very happy about it. She and her husband already have four other Mynahs. Each is at different stages of talking and learning fun antics. If you raise a Mynah from a very young age, they can be terrific talkers. Mynahs are known to mimic their owners voices exactly and they are known to be quite comical in their antics.
The young lady explained to us that the slimy things in the bird’s eye were tiny worms in the bird’s system due to his eating cockroaches. She had medicine that would take care of the problem and would help the baby Mynah become healthy.
Japanese White-Eye Bird
Mourning Dove, Rescued on Maui
Hawaiian birds -- whether endemic or descendants of travelers from faraway countries – make beautiful subjects in Hawaiian photographs. The Cattle Egret, one of the most traveled birds in the world, is a favorite for tourists to take home in their collection of Hawaiian photo images.
Sometimes images of Hawaii are almost as nice to hold as the actual subject of the image. Once in a while, it doesn’t even feel right to hold a little creature of Hawaii’s bird and wildlife. Sometimes they just have to be let go. But images of Hawaii which are held still in a Hawaiian photo frame can bring a smile over and over again.
And certainly it is so for every state and country in the world, not just Hawaii. There is beauty everywhere, ready for capturing on camera.
Black-Crowned Night Herons on Maui
Junglefowl are everywhere on the Hawaiian Islands
Peacock Crossing, Maui
© 2011 Pamela Dapples