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least tern

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The least tern is the smallest of American terns at about 8 inches. They are white with a black eye strip, white head, and black bill. During breading season, they have a yellow bill and black cap. Although rare in Hawaiʻi, a few documented nests have been found but they seem to be increasing on ...
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sooty tern

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The ʻewaʻewa, or sooty tern, nest in dense colonies and are the most abundant tern in Hawaiʻi. They will nest in the same area each year and lay only one egg. You can often find them feeding in mixed flocks, searching for small fish and squid. They have a black back and upper wings with ...
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black-crowned night-heron

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The stately ʻaukuʻu is found near ponds, streams, marshes and shorelines where it hunts for shellfish, fish, frogs, mice, insects, and even other birds. Standing about 2-feet tall, they are gray with a black bill, head, and back and yellow legs and feet with piercing red eyes. When breeding, they have long white feathers streaming ...
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red-footed booby

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The ʻā, or red-footed booby, is the most abundant booby in the Hawaiian Islands. The nest in colonies and almost exclusively in shrubs and trees. Young birds do not have the characteristic pinkish-red feet they are named for. They gain their red feet as they become adults. They are mostly white with black wing edges ...
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brown booby

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The ʻā, or brown booby is a little taller than 2 feet. Most nest on the ground in small, scattered colonies and feed on flying fish. They can often be seen feeding in mixed flocks. They are mostly dark brown, with white on the belly. Their bill is yellow while the female’s face is also ...
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masked booby

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The ʻā, or masked booby, is the largest of the boobies. They typically nest on the ground, using pebbles and other debris. Like the other booby species, a large portion of a Masked Booby’s diet is flying fish. They are mostly white with a black tail and wing edge. Their bill and eyes are yellow, ...
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great frigatebird

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

Often soaring high in the sky, the ʻiwa is commonly seen throughout the pacific They are easy to spot with their large black body and 7 ½-foot wingspan. Females have white breast feathers, while the males have a bright red throat pouch that they inflate like a balloon to attract females. In the Hawaiian language, ...
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red-tailed tropicbird

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

Koaʻe ʻula, with their long red tail feathers, is a graceful flyer over the ocean. With a wingspan of nearly 4-feet, they are brilliant white with black streaks around its eyes and a yellow to red bill. Feeding on fish and squid throughout the day, they nest and roost on the ground under the shade ...
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white-tailed tropicbird

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

Koaʻe kea, with their long white tail feathers, is a graceful flyer over the ocean. With a wingspan of about 3-feet, they are brilliant white with black streaks around its eyes and along wing edges. Feeding on fish and squid throughout the day, they nest and roost in the security of cliff faces and rock ...
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band-rumped storm-petrel

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The ʻakeʻake is a small bat-like seabird that will sometimes “tap-dance” on the water to attract its prey of small squid and crustaceans. While long suspected to be a breeding resident in Hawaiʻi, the first burrow of this small and secretive bird was not found until 2015 on Hawaiʻi Island. It is listed as federally ...
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Leach’s storm-petrel

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

Similar looking to the ʻakeʻake, Leach’s storm-petrel is a migrant visitor to Hawaiʻi. It is most commonly seen in Hawaiian waters from October to April. They can be distinguished with a keen eye from ʻakeʻake by a more forked tail, often a black central line down the middle of it’s white rump, and more erratic ...
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sooty shearwater

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The sooty shearwater breeds in New Zealand, South East Australi,a and the southern tip of South America, but each year migrates north to take advantage of food in the Bering Sea. It is most commonly seen in Hawaiian waters moving north in March and April, and then again in September and October heading south. It ...
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wedge-tailed shearwater

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The ʻuaʻu kani, or wedge-tailed shearwater, is the most abundant seabird across the state. This large shearwater is indigenous throughout the Pacific ocean and in Hawaiʻi this coastal burrowing seabird arrives in March to breed through September. Remarkably few breed on the Big Island compared to other Hawaiian Islands likely due to human impacts (like ...
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Bulwer’s petrel

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The ʻou is a small sooty brown petrel 11 inches long with a 23-inch wing span. Bill and legs are dark. They are usually seen near land during their breeding season (April – October).

pied-billed grebe

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

A little over a foot in size, the pied-billed grebe is normally a visitor to the Hawaiian Islands but they temporarily established a small breeding colony on Hawaiʻi island from 1985 to 1993. They are mostly brown chunky birds with a large blocky head, slender neck, and thick bills. They can be found on small ...
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