A very still night here in Pukalani, with no breeze, and little sound, was just livened up by the sharp cry of an approaching `auku`u, a black-crowned night heron. It cried out once as it approached, again when just about overhead, and once more as it trailed off. The pitch of those three cries painted an image of how fast the bird was traveling, and the direction. Alas I was in the house -- I would have liked a chance to have seen it silhouetted against the moon.
Recently I took a long walk down the gulch, and to my surprise startled three or four `auku`u that had been roosting in some tall inia trees. I was surprised to see them so far from the beach or a wetland, but then I remembered the ponds and miles of ditches that run through the cane fields.
The neighbors said that a while back a great blue heron built its nest in a lone inia tree behind our house. I had to wonder if it was really a night heron, since when their necks are elongated someone who was not observing closely could confuse the two. Do you ever see great blue herons on Maui?