Apapane

Himatione sanguinea

The Apapane is a beautiful native Hawaian bird that feeds mainly on the nectar of the O'hia-lehua blossoms, seen here. In November 2009, I desparately wanted to photograph native birds and had hoped to have been able to get a couple of them at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Unfortunately, it showered that day and I had just got out of the car to have a quick look at this crater rim (without camera, of course!), when I spotted this bird together with a couple of Amakihi. I rushed back to get the camera and I am afraid the last frame was all that I managed before they all flew off down the crater. I would normally not put up such a poor capture, but it deserved its place because it served as a reminder that the Big Island of Hawaii demands my return to try to get better pictures!

Well, I did get another opportunity in January 2011, again on the Big Island. The light was not in my favour this time, and I quickly discovered just how shy this bird is! One click of the shutter and it's gone like a bat out of hell! It would react the same way even when I changed to "Silent" mode. Still, I am quite happy with what I got.