Archives by Month:

semipalmated plover

Posted on Dec 17, 2020 in

Semipalmated plovers get their name from the partial webbing on their feet. They are less common winter visitors to Hawaiʻi, compared to the pacific golden plover and are restricted to wetland habitats. Wings and head are grey, with white and black bands round the neck. Feet are orange and underbelly white.

long-billed dowitcher

Posted on Dec 7, 2020 in

The name ‘dowitcher’ originates from the Iroquois language, as they are native to North America. Long-billed dowitchers are mottled brown, and as their name suggests, have notably long beaks. These visitors to Hawaiʻi can be seen foraging in wetlands by using a sewing matching like movement, sometimes with their heads submerged in shallow water. Sensors ...
Read More long-billed dowitcher

American wigeon

Posted on Dec 7, 2020 in

This visiting, medium-sized duck is found in open marshes and wetlands. Both sexes have round heads with short necks and light blue bills. Males in the breeding season disply a green eye mask and white head cap. Females and non-breeding males are brown. The American wigeon is a highly vocal species. It is often be ...
Read More American wigeon


Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The hunakai, or sanderling, is a delicate white and grey-back shorebird. Their bill and legs are black. When returning to their breeding home in the arctic, from April through August, they show more reddish brown on their head, chest, and back. They are commonly found in small groups in mudflats and along the shore, wading ...
Read More sanderling

ruddy turnstone

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The ʻakekeke, or ruddy turnstone, is a common winter visitor to Hawaiʻi from August to May. During the summer, they live in the arctic. At 9 inches, they are a brown with white bellies with black markings on their heads and chests. They have a small black bill and orange legs. When preparing to fly ...
Read More ruddy turnstone

bristle-thighed curlew

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The kioea, or bristle-thighed curlew, is found in small numbers wintering throughout tropical Pacific islands. It wasn’t until 1949 that their breeding grounds near the mouth of the Yukon river in Alaska was found. Their world population is less than 10,000. Since they don’t breed until their third or fourth summer, a remnant population can ...
Read More bristle-thighed curlew

wandering tattler

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The ʻūlili, or wandering tattler, are common along the shore during the fall, winter, spring before they head off to their summer home in Alaska. At less than a foot long, they are dark and light gray with a long, thin dark bill and yellow legs. Listen for them calling their name, “oo-li-li-li” as they ...
Read More wandering tattler

Pacific golden-plover

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

Commonly seen during the winter months, the kōlea, or Pacific golden-plover is found on lawns, golf courses, fields, and even rooftops. They are less than a foot long and you’ll most likely seem them in their golden mottled feathers. But as they ready themselves for their long journey back to Alaska in May, they put ...
Read More Pacific golden-plover

lesser scaup

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The migrant lesser scaup is a common winter visitor to the Hawaiʻi. This diving duck sifts through mud to feed on shellfish and underwater vegetation. It averages 15-19 inches in length and is just a little smaller than the similar looking greater scaup. Males have a dark head with a purple sheen on a white ...
Read More lesser scaup

northern pintail

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The koloa māpu, or northern pintail, is the most common winter migrant duck to Hawaiʻi. Before 1960 they often numbered in the thousands across the Islands, but now average in the hundreds likely due to habitat loss in their breeding grounds. They average 20-25 inches in length and the male’s long central tail feathers give ...
Read More northern pintail

northern shoveler

Posted on Aug 8, 2017 in

The koloa moha commonly migrates between Hawaiʻi and North America where it is known as the Northern shoveler due to its distinctively long, thick bill. Males have green heads with yellow eyes and black bills, while females have orange bills and a mottled brown body. Look for their hidden blue wing patches in both sexes ...
Read More northern shoveler