Kukuluae’o (Hawaiian Stilt)

Maui (1329 of 2119)
The Hawaiian stilt (Kukuluae’o).

Much is said about the endangered Kukuluae’o, the Hawaiian stilt, at the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Stilt(s) seems like a most appropriate description for its red legs that look disproportionately long and at times awkward for the size of its body. I kept expecting to watch them tip forward, head first into the water, but that never happened.

As if dressed formally in a black tuxedo with a bright white shirt, this skinny-legged bird tip-toes through the shallow water in search of food, which it catches with its sharp long black bill. The bird’s call emitted from a mouth that seems spring loaded shut, consists of a series of unmistakable loud shrieks that are sure to gets everyone’s attention.

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