Sunday, January 5, 2014

Kauai 2013 day 13: part 2

On our way home from Kilauea, I spotted a Hawaiian Coot hanging out in a small lagoon close to where we were staying. I really didn't want to miss out on the chance to get some good shots of this bird, which is both endemic to Hawaii and on the endangered list, so Mom and Dad were nice enough to stop and let me out of the car. They then had to hang out at a store just up the road, patiently waiting while I did my photography thing. So, thank you again to them for indulging me. I hope these help make up for it. ;-)

The star of today's post; to me, one of its most distinctive features, among many, is its red eyes:

 A slightly wider shot to help provide a sense of perspective; size-wise, the coot is a bit bigger than the average chicken, and a bit smaller than the average mallard:

Doing a bit of grooming:

Picking its way down the log. As you can see, rather than webbed feet, like a duck, the Hawaiian Coot has very long individual toes, like a heron:

Again, a wider shot for some perspective:

Love the head-on view of the bird's white frontal shield:

Posing for the camera, apparently:

Using those long toes to scratch its head:

Such an unusual, but beautiful, bird:

Getting ready to get into the water:

And we're in:

Seems like it's staring right at me, huh?

I'm pretty sure that's one of the bird's feet you can see just below its breast in the water, but I'm not ruling out the possibility that it's just a reflection of its beak:

Diving for a snack:


Going back down again; I liked how the change of angle and water depth allows a better look at the bird's legs:

It wasn't easy, as the bird would often pop up several feet from where it dove into the water, but I finally managed to snag a shot of it as it resurfaced:

Not the best shot, but I liked the spray of water around its head:

And finally, a last look as it disappeared underneath the vegetation:

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