On June 28, Rick and Matty, and our friends, Cindy, Tom, Emily and Joe all went out to Molokini (a submerged volcanic crater that forms a small island off Maui) to snorkel. They took a Trilogy sailing trip out to Molokini and had an amazing time. Unfortunately, I couldn't go because I get seasick...horribly seasick, but I wasn't too disappointed because I had plans to go to the Kealia Coastal Boardwalk at Kealia Pond...
|...even the Kealia Coastal Boardwalk sign is beautiful. I loved the vibrant painting of the Hawaiian Stilt and the Hawaiian Coot.|
Hawaiian Stilt Feeding in the Shallows at the Kealia Coastal Boardwalk on Maui from Kelly Riccetti on Vimeo.
This bird is spectacularly slim and delicate looking. Stilts have long, "bubble gum" pink, pencil-thin legs that cut through water effortlessly, and because they are the longest legged of all the shorebirds, they have extra depth when foraging for food. I enjoyed watching him tip his body over to capture invertebrates and other water creatures with his long, thin and pointy bill. Dennis Paulson in his book "Shorebirds of North America" (one of my favorite shorebird ID books) decides stilts should be called "Slenderellas" (Paulson, pg. 91). What a perfect description!
|A Hawaiian Stilt wades through the mudflats along the Kealia Coastal Boardwalk. Female stilts have a bit of brown on their backs, so this bird is probably a female. Males have only black feathers on their backs.|
|Hawaiian Stilts are visual feeders. This bird definitely has its eye on something here!|
|Hawaiian Stilts look like our Black-necked Stilts, except they have more black on their neck.|
|Interpretive signs on the boardwalk are helpful. At the beginning, maps and other helpful information are on the signs, but as you progress along the boardwalk, the birds take center stage...|
|The Hawaiian word for the Hawaiian Stilt is Ae'o. All the interpretive signs are beautiful and colorful paintings like this one.|