Thursday, 27 August 2009

Wake up call

It was around 5:30am I think; a very irritating noise that sounded like a small smoke alarm in "low battery mode" and awfully persistent. These days I've learned to sleep with the noise made by the coqui frogs although if one gets close to the house the noise can be somewhat overwhelming. I usually take care of that situation quickly but early this morning there was something different that woke me up.

So it's out on the lower lanai with an early morning cup of tea and suddenly the noise is moving around, it's almost circling the house. Some animal is making a hell of a noise and then I spot it - a Northern Cardinal. I see them quite often around here and they visit the garden from time to time, but I think this is the first one that has decided to make my house its home. I've found that they are also extremely difficult to photograph: they're very active, quite jittery and love to hide behind leaves and tree branches while they keep an eye on you.

Cardinals are not native to Hawai`i but were introduced in the 1930s. From what little research I've done there are three species of cardinals in Hawai`i and the Northern Cardinal is the one that is found on the Big Island and they seem to like it here. This one was especially insistent that I ought to leave his territory and it's probably because he's found a mate, although I only managed a fleeting glimpse of her this morning.

When I returned from work this evening he was back in smoke alarm mode within a few minutes. On the odd occasion he even perched on the lanai a few yards from me and made one hell of a fuss. I guess we'll get used to each other over time.


Zuzana said...

Beautiful bird; the red colour is amazing. Stunning pictures s well.;)

Hilary said...

You're quite right about how difficult they are to photograph. I always have a difficult time of it with the frequent visitors to my area. Your photos don't reveal that trouble at all.. great shots.

alice said...

Great pics! It's nice to see some fauna once in a while!

Keera Ann Fox said...

I was wondering what a mainland bird was doing on the Islands. You got some good shots!