Friday, March 14, 2008

Flora and Fauna

Bob discovered this eel stranded in a tidepool. He was pretty riled up and the pictures don't do him justice.

Common Myna Bird

According to various Haleakala websites, this bird is called a Chukar and was introduced from Asia in 1923.

According to wiki: The Chukar, Alectoris chukar is a Eurasian upland gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds. has its native range in Asia from Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan in the east to southeastern Europe in the west, and is closely related and similar to its western equivalent, the red-legged partridge, Alectoris rufa. It has been introduced widely, and became established in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Hawaii. In Great Britain, hybrids between this species and the also introduced red-legged partridge are common.
The Chukar is a resident breeder in dry, open, and often hilly country. It nests in a scantily lined ground scrape laying 8 to 20 eggs. Chukars will take a wide variety of seeds and some insects as food; however, Dropping Brome(Cheatgrass) is this species' strong food preference.
The silver sword, endemic to Haleakala.

I have never seen so many whales in Hawaii as we did on this trip. They were everywhere. We had an fabulous view from our room and you could literally see 6 or 7 mother/calf pairs from the balcony. Incredible.