Kritters of Kauai

We had a great time capturing photos and videos of a number of species of birds, reptiles, and fish while on Kauai. A minute fraction of everything that is there, but still an incredible experience. We brought an underwater camera(a cheap Go Pro knockoff that performed quite well) hoping to do a little filming while snorkeling and that turned out to be a good idea.


We’ll start with some of the birds that we met at the hotel in Wailua. Of course, the most prevalent of these is the “chicken”. The Southeast Asia Jungle Fowl.

The Ubiquitous Chicken

We saw a great number of birds, but nothing so prevalent as the chicken. The only place where they weren’t ubiquitous was near the KFC (I’m really not kidding). One even became a buddy for brief period.

In addition to the fowl, we did see a number of other birds. Primarily the Myna, a variety of cardinals, and doves.

Zebra Dove
Common Myna
Crested Cardinal (we also saw a yellow billed cardinal, which is quite similar)

One of the most fascinating birds we saw was the Tropic Bird. In particular, when we visited Wailua Falls.


At Lydgate Beach, next to our hotel, we had an opportunity to see a number of fish. The most numerous, although not always apparent, were the flag tail fish. I’m not entirely sure which of the two species of Kuhlia we saw. Below is a video of a large school of them. Because of their silver color, they easily disappear, and so I got to calling them the invisible fish. In many videos I thought I only caught one or two (if any) based on what I saw through my mask, but when I would look at a video, there would be huge numbers.

The other fish, the striped one, is known as the Sergeant Major fish. Presumably because of the stripes, and not because he was in charge!

Sergeant Majors and Flag Tails

On Wednesday of our trip, we visited Anini Beach on the northeast part of the island, At Anini Beach, we ran into the Saddle Wrasse. We saw a great number of these in the reef surrounding Anini Beach.

The Saddle Wrasse in its native environment
Male Spotted Boxfish (Males have blue sides)

Later on I ran across a small group of fish hanging around a small bit of the reef. The group consisted of the Spotted Boxfish and the Hawaiian Dascyllus

Hawaiian Dascyllus


Gold Dust Day Gecko (non-native)

The most exciting experience we had involved reptiles. Although we only saw two species (we weren’t trekking through the jungle looking, which is where I suspect we would have seen more), one, in particular, was one of the high points of the trip.

We had heard that there might be opportunities to find sea turtles. When we were renting some snorkel gear, we were told that Anini Beach was a having a number of sightings. So, we went to investigate and were not disappointed.

The cover photo for this post was taken on this excursion. Below are a couple of the videos I took of the Honu, as the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is known. The animals of Kauai made a good vacation a great vacation. I look forward to returning and hopefully finding even more to capture footage of.

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