Koa’e Kea (White-tailed Tropicbird)

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Koa’e Kea (White-tailed Tropicbird | Phaéton à bec jaune | Phaethon lepturus): We saw these wonderfully exotic birds on several occasions on Kaua’i, mostly from fairly far away, such as Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge and Waimea Canyon State Park. We did get a very (and magical) close look at three of them when we were kayaking on Wailua River, but I wisely decided to leave the camera at home, given that we were told we might be ankle deep in mud and even waist deep in water at one point on our journey towards Wailua Falls. The stories were accurate, as we found out, so this was no place for electronic and optical equipment!

This photo was taken in Waimea Canyon State Park as the birds put on an impressive areal display in the canyon. This is an extreme crop (only 11% of the original pixels remain!) of one of the more usable photos, so I will dispense with the usual exif data and such.

I’ve been publishing photos every day of the week for over a week and have decided to take a little rest. But I will be back next weekend with photos of some the introduced species that I was able to see in Kaua’i!

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