Photos of Hawaiian Wildlife - Topside & Underwater

I moved to Hawaii six years ago and spent the first year entirely underwater working on a scuba dive boat as a Divemaster, which is where I first fell in love with photography. Since then I've had a camera with me nearly every day. It didn't take long before I went from photographing turtles and octopus to families and weddings - but I'm still not entirely sure how that happened! Along the way I've accumulated photos of some Hawaiian wildlife (mostly by chance, while I was at a photo shoot or going to or coming from one.)

So this blog post is simply to share with you some of the beautiful wildlife I’ve noticed in passing over the years. Click on any photo to see a larger version.

While putting my gear after a beach elopement shoot, I noticed I was being stalked!

A monk seal crawled out of the surf one day during a maternity shoot and decided my camera bags were the perfect place to nap!

The Hawaiian Monk Seal is endangered, with only about 1000 of them left.

Tide pool hermit crab. These guys can be hard to get in focus because they are tiny and never hold still!

Tide pool hermit crab. These guys can be hard to get in focus because they are tiny and never hold still!

A baby gecko I discovered stuck to my windshield one night while driving home.

Soaring red-tailed Tropicbird

Good news: Hawaii has few spiders. Bad news: The ones they do have are BIG! This guy was 5 inches from leg tip to leg tip. I measured. :-)

The Cane Toad is an invasive species, not native to Hawaii. It’s the size of a big man’s fist and has poison glands potent enough to kill dogs. They are indiscriminate and voracious eaters.

The slow moving Jackson’s Chameleon. Also not native to Hawaii, but harmless. Lives in the trees of the mountains of the interior as the coastal areas are too hot for it.

White cattle egret. Not native, but much loved as they keep the insect population down.

Pacific Golden Plover. Like the Humpback whale, they summer in Alaska and migrate to Hawaii in the winter. Smart birds!

Zebra doves are so calm around people I have literally caught one by hand as I walked past by simply bending down and grabbing it. They are almost always seen in pairs, rarely alone.

The Black Witch Moth is only active at night and it’s easy to mistake them for bats due to their huge size. They are amazingly relaxed and easy to hold however.

Red crested cardinal

Praying mantis. I had one of these land on my table once as I sat outside Starbucks.

One more Jackson Chameleon

And one more Monk Seal photo

Underwater Photos

The following images are not particularly high quality - one, because the ocean water is seldom completely clear; two, I was still learning photography during this stage; and three because they were all shot with a point & shoot camera.