Critters of Hawaii


Although I’ve posted several pictures of Hawaiian flowers and a few animals, I thought I’d share a few more pics of critters now that we’ve been back a week. I just can’t seem to stop reviewing all the fascinating images of flowers and creatures found on the Big Island. With apologies to anyone who saw similar photos on Facebook and earlier, here are a few of the more interesting  Hawaiian critters.

This little Gold-Dust Day Gecko crashed our lunch in Waimea hanging out just waiting to slurp up a few tastes of ice cream and whose tongues work like dogs do. These shy little guys love pollen, fruit and nectar but will take risks to sneak a taste of human sweets. Fast as lightning, they invariably scare the dickens out of you when they race by just out of direct view.

One afternoon we took the grand dogs to a dog-friendly beach. My son’s dog, Kono is a pro when it comes to swimming with her peeps and seems to enjoy it (she and Sam will NEVER be BFF’s because of it). Crazy Nala on the other hand, wanted no part of the water and wasn’t all that sure about Hawaii’s Green Sea Turtle either. That’s her barking in the background. Had to stop filming to keep her from attacking that old fella…well that and to stop laughing at that dingbat dog-you should have seen her raised hackles…at a turtle. Good grief! These creatures are quite remarkable and protected in Hawaii, where people are repeatedly instructed to stay at least 3 feet away from them. Green turtles, also known as Honu, should never be touched and are considered a threatened species by National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The tiny coqui tree frog is rarely seen, but you will hear its shrill whistles ALL. NIGHT. LONG. This non-native, nocturnal pest had the misfortune of showing up at my son’s house which means this bad boy is invading areas not previously known. Smaller than a penny, they’re a scourge marching across the Big Island and who is now ‘residing’ in my son’s freezer (which is the most humane way of disposing of them).


This Jackson Chameleon stuck like glue to my grandson’s face and arm, then scrambled on top of our hats. While it wasn’t painful, I was particularly taken by the strength of his grip-he wasn’t easily separated from either of us.


Of course anyone who has been to Hawaii’s Big Island knows of the wild turkeys and feral goats, both of whom were too elusive to capture either on video or by pic. I did however manage to photograph some of the countless chickens, finches and thieving opportunistic red crested cardinals that live on the island.











Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the many fascinating critters of Hawaii as much as I did sharing. Vastly different from creatures around my neck of the woods but intriguing nonetheless, proving again that Hawaii is such a terrific place to visit. Aloha.

Live, love, bark! <3

28 thoughts on “Critters of Hawaii

  1. There are such amazing critters in Hawaii and that Gecko is just too amazing for words and those colors! Just gorgeous! 😀 Mom and I loved to see it eating ice-cream. Just too sweet for words! 😀

    The green turtle is just amazing and we are glad they are protected there. I would have barked at it as well. It’s huge!

    Your son have the most awesome friends there. Thanks for sharing with us. We really enjoyed. 😊😘

    1. 😍 The Big Island is definitely a world unto itself with plants and critters. It’s no wonder my son thinks it’s paradise on earth!

  2. THAT is a big ass turtle! Holy smokes. The sea tortoise is protected in NC, they actually have volunteers that comb the beaches when the tortoise comes on shore to lay eggs. They will warn inquisitive away.

    Um…the frog? How does one catch it and what do you put it in in the freezer? I’m assuming you don’t just set it in there free. Talk about something scaring the bejesus out of you. 😉

    Saw a show on TV last weekend about house hunting in Hawaii, and was surprised to learn of the feral chickens. They didn’t say anything about goats though…like how many goats are there?

    1. The frog was caught in a canning jar. The freezer kills them in a humane way, much like when frogs are boiled in a pot. They slow down and simply fall asleep. Better than beat the living crap outa them with a hammer. 😉
      As for the goats, you can pretty much run into small herds driving anywhere outside cities around the island. They tend to pop out at very inopportune moments but mostly I’ve seen them near Mauna Kea and on the southerly side of Mauna Loa.

  3. I love those little geckos. They’re as colorful as parrot fish! We had one hanging out on our porch every day in Maui. I never managed to catch a decent photo of him cuz he was so shy. And I love the turtles! We saw one every time we went in the water. They’re the coolest.

  4. Loved seeing these. Thanks for sharing. Was the turtle coming on shore to lay eggs? What does the Coqui frog do, besides shriek all night, that makes them be considered a scourge? Just curious.

      1. I was wondering if that was the problem with the coqui. Do you know where they came from? It is hard in this day and age of global travel to keep an island ecology pristine and not have alien species dropping in and upsetting everything. I know Australia has very strict rules to try to maintain their ecosystem.

        1. Hawaii does too. Coquis arrived from Puerto Rico where they are native. They seriously compete with native species of spiders and insects with their voracious appetites and their ability to reproduce is staggering especially given that there are a lack of predators. Scary stuff!

            1. Yes, it’s too bad there is no natural predator to control (or eliminate) them. Hopefully Hawaii won’t make another mistake like introduce mongooses which they did to control rats in the sugar industry. Mongooses operate in the daytime, rats are nocturnal like the coquis. 😨

  5. Squeals! I love these pictures and the information. Seems like you had a ball of a great time my friend!! XOXO – Bacon

  6. I have a couple of artist friends living there, and one of them has the most magnificent chickens. I loved this post, but it made me have wanderlust. One of my neighbor’s grown kids is moving there and their doodle is already in quarantine for months to prepare. What an ordeal.
    I might have to do a quilt art of a chameleon. LeeAnna

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