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Chicago Birds and Amakihi

Aloha kakou,

Cindy and I recently returned from a visit to Chicago.  We flew in a few days before the The Motivation Show, a large trade show for Incentive Travel and Meeting Planners. We had a great time personally and accomplished some productive business.  I spent Saturday morning birding since the fall migration was in full swing.  It really amazes me that I could take a 10-minute taxi ride from our hotel on the Miracle Mile of Michigan Avenue and in a few hours of birdwatching see 50 different species of birds including a couple of lifers for me-Tennessee Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler—and never leave the city limits. 

I’ve birded in Chicago three times all just before The Motivation Show in late September and have seen 80 species.  Compare that to all the years of birding I’ve done in Hawaii where I’ve only seen 178 species!  Of course, the diversity of birds in Hawaii is much less than Chicago, in fact, there’s only a few hardy and well-talented souls who have over 200 species on their Hawaii list.  But what Hawaii loses in overall species diversity, it more than gains in the fabulous resident endemics that inhabit our islands.

The other day I was able to tour some of the development staff for Hualalai Resort around in one of our Pinzgauers.  Kamaaina Hannah Springer, who is one of my favorite people to be in the field with,  was along to provide orientation to the wonderful resources of the Kaupulehu ahupuaa.  As we were standing under an Australian Silk Oak tree in the dry a’a field talking about the archeology of the area, I heard an assortment of birds calling and singing about.  The Indian Myna, the Japanese White-eye, the African Yellow-fronted Canary and African Silverbill, and the European House Sparrow were all abundant, active, and noisy.  And then amidst the sounds of non-natives, two Hawaii Amakihi began to call back and forth between two native Lama trees.  To hear these birds at such low elevation and in such degraded native habitat made me smile.  And though the Hawaii Amakihi are one of most common of the native forest birds left, I would trade all the birds in Chicago for these two Honeycreepers.  Lucky I live in Hawaii.

With Aloha,

Rob P.
Posted by Rob Pacheco at 1:21:42 PM in Blogs by Rob Pacheco, HFT Founder (16) | Comments (0)

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