© Hob Osterlund
September 13, 2010
In late June 2010, subscriber Hob Osterlund of Princeville, Hawaii, happened to see an adult White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)
fly into the woods on the north shore of Kauai, the northernmost island of the main Hawaiian Islands. Her sighting could mean only one thing: a nest. After hiking up the hillside and sneaking around behind trees, Hob discovered this solitary chick hidden in a cavity beneath roots. In this shot, the chick has just spotted a parent return from sea with a meal. Note the downy tassels at the tips of its tail feathers.
“White-tailed Tropicbirds can be seen soaring above canyons in the Hawaiian Islands,” she tells us. “Due to the presence of mongoose on all other islands, they do best on Kauai and can readily be seen in the Waimea Canyon. They nest in rocky crevices and in isolated areas under thick cover, never far from coastal access. Indigenous to Hawaii, they are also called koa`e kea in Hawaiian.”
Hob used a Canon Digital Rebel XTi with a 70-300mm zoom lens.See Hob’s previous Photo of the Week: White Terns
Read her report about Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, which we published in “Hotspots Near You”
in our August 2010 issue.
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