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Nature Photography - Done Naturally

White-tailed Tropicbird

Photo of the Week (September 3rd, 2017)

(archive photos of the week here)

If you judged my photos of the week on technical merit and quality of the photograph, this one would be at the bottom of the list for the year.  I have to highlight it though, given how thoroughly delighted I was when I took this.  We were vacationing on the Big Island of Hawai'i, and were doing a hike around Kilauea's crater.  From the direction of the main crater I saw one, then two, then three white streaks headed towards us.  I was baffled at first, having no idea what kind of pure white bird lived near the crater. As they got closer, my puzzlement turned to wonder...they were three White-tailed Tropicbirds.  It's not rare to see them at Kilauea's crater...they nest here!  But I had no idea of that until I saw them, and it certainly took me by surprise to see three gorgeous, tropical seabirds among the barren, desolate land around the active crater.

White-tailed Tropicbird - Phaethon lepturus

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