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A curious Hawaiian bird, the 'Auku'u.

Updated: Jan 4, 2019

When you arrive on Maui you will see plenty of birds everywhere, and most of them could seem familiar, except for the Black-Crowned Night Heron. They breed in every continent except on Australia and Antarctica. Their red eyes are very appealing and mystic, and it will stare back at you like is trying to figure you out too. The species uses a variety of shallow wetlands for forging and employs various techniques to capture a diversity of prey including insects, fish, frogs, mice, and the young of other native water birds (hmmmm). So now I understand why is always hanging around the ponds of the Honua Kai Resort & Spa, because they seem like wetlands too. When I took the photo with the kid, it was because the bird was actually memorized by him feeding the fishes. Is obvious to the Heron that it would not be able to pick up a fish, and fly away, but it still stayed and observe how the whole dynamic was unfolding. I am pretty sure that when is in the middle on the pond, it is waiting to eat a yummy little fish or a tasty dragonfly (they visit often). For me I take any day the sight of kids interacting with nature, and is paramount we teach them how to respect the rest of animals and plants that share our beautiful planet with us.

Photos by: Clau Castillo



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