the native plants and animals of Hawaiʻi

Mokoliʻi — Chinaman’s Hat — is home to native seabirds

Manu-o-Kū

White Fairy Terns or Manu-o-Kū are amazing fliers that often hover in mid-air.

Estuary at Kāneʻohe Bay

Kanehoalani and Ohulehule tower over a shallow estuary on the shores of Kāneʻohe Bay

Happyface Spider

A happyface spider — nananana makakiʻi (Theridion grallator) tends to its eggs

Misty Rain at Sunset

Ua noe — gentle misty rain — filters the light at sunset in the northern Koʻolau Mountains

Konahuanui

ʻIeʻie and hapuʻu thrive at the twin peaks of Konahuanui – the highest peaks on the Koʻolau

Kāhuli Tree Snails

Endangered kāhuli or Oʻahu tree snails — Achatinella sowerbyana — crawl over an ʻōhiʻa branch.

Baby Kāhuli in the Native Forest

Baby Kāhuli in the Native Forest

I hiked in the Mokuleʻia Forest Reserve to see kāhuli or Oʻahu tree snails crawling on the native vegetation. During the night the temperature dropped to the low 60's and rain fell intermittently on our campsite at about 2,200 feet elevation.  When I got up at first...

Koa Butterflies on ʻIliahi Flowers

Koa Butterflies on ʻIliahi Flowers

I hiked along the rim of Makua Valley where I saw dozens of koa butterflies sipping the nectar of ʻiliahi flowers. I attended the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club's 3-day Mokuleʻia Campout where backpackers hike the Kuaokoala Trail, Mokuleʻia Access Road, and the rim...

Kahuku Beach Cleanup

Kahuku Beach Cleanup

I joined the community effort to pick up trash and plastic debris from the stretch of beaches from Turtle Bay Resort to Kahuku Golf Course. When one of my endangered species buddies -- Angela Huntemer -- put out the word that help was needed to clean trash and plastic...

Hidden Stream and Falls

Hidden Stream and Falls

I seized a rare opportunity to see some hidden waterfalls tucked away in a remote valley on the island. When Cory Yap invited us to go with him to repair weather and stream monitoring equipment in a remote stream, we jumped at the chance.  Cory works for the Hawaii...

Habitat Restoration at Mokulua Iki

Habitat Restoration at Mokulua Iki

I kayaked to Mokulua Iki -- the smaller of the two islets offshore from Lanikai and Kailua -- to help restore the native habitat for seabirds. When I learned from the Hawaii Audubon Society that the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) at the Department of Land...

Mōlī Nesting Season

Mōlī Nesting Season

For the past several weeks, I have been hiking to Kaʻena Point -- the western most tip of Oʻahu -- to see Mōlī or Laysan Albatross during nesting season. Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) are large pelagic seabirds that range over the North Pacific.  For...

‘Ihi‘ihilauakea Crater at Hanauma Bay

‘Ihi‘ihilauakea Crater at Hanauma Bay

I joined the Hawaii Audubon Society for a service project to weed and care for several patches of ‘ihi‘ihilauakea -- a rare endangered endemic fern -- at Hanauma Bay. It was a beautiful morning when about 25 of us met at the picnic tables under the ki‘awe trees at...

ʻAlae ʻUla Breeding Season

ʻAlae ʻUla Breeding Season

For the past several months, I have been hiking in and around the marshes and wetlands of windward Oʻahu looking for ʻalae ʻula or Hawaiian moorhen. The Hawaiian Moorhen, also known as the Hawaiian gallinule or mudhen (Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis) is one of 12...

Kioea at Kahuku

Kioea at Kahuku

For the past month, I have been looking for Kioea or Bristle-Thighed Curlew in the ponds at James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge and in the surrounding sand dunes at Kahuku. Kioea (Numenius tahitiensis) are migratory shorebirds that live in Hawaiʻi and other...

Rare Native Plants and Animals in the Waiʻanae Mountains

Rare Native Plants and Animals in the Waiʻanae Mountains

For quite some time now I have been exploring remote ridges and gullies in the Waiʻanae Mountains to look for rare native plants and animals. Much of the Waiʻanae Mountains lie in the rain shadow of the Koʻolau Mountains and makes the Waiʻanae Mountains significantly...

ʻUaʻu Kani at Kūpikipikiʻō

ʻUaʻu Kani at Kūpikipikiʻō

I went to Kūpikipikiʻō to see wedge-tailed shearwaters towards the end of breeding season. Located along the southern edge of Black Point, Kūpikipikiʻō is one of a handful of breeding colonies of ʻuaʻu kani or wedge-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus) on Oʻahu....

Clearing the Halapepenui Trail

Clearing the Halapepenui Trail

I joined the trail maintenance crew of the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club (HTMC) to clear the Halapepenui Trail which overlooks Pearl City in the Koʻolau Mountains of Oʻahu. The Halapepenui Trail is a 6.6 mile loop above Pearl City which can be accessed from four...

The Poamoho Fence

The Poamoho Fence

We hiked sections of the proposed Poamoho Fence which will protect the leeward headwaters of the Poamoho watershed in the northern Koʻolau Mountains of Oʻahu. As a counter-measure against changing trade wind and climate patterns, the State of Hawaiʻi is increasing the...

Pololū to Honokāne Nui on the Kohala Coast

Pololū to Honokāne Nui on the Kohala Coast

We hiked the Kohala Ditch Trail from Pololū to Honokāne Nui in the Kohala Mountains of the Big Island. The windward stream valleys of the Kohala Mountains are remote and difficult to access.  With no road along the stretch of coast from Pololū to Waipiʻo -- a distance...

Mamalahoa Trail on the Kona Coast

Mamalahoa Trail on the Kona Coast

We hiked sections of the Mamalahoa or King's Trail to see unspoiled beaches and anchialine ponds along on the Kona Coast of the Big Island. My hiking buddies for this part of the trip were Pete Morton, who lives on the Big Island, and Chase Norton, who flew in from...