Birds of Kīlauea Point
Wedge-tailed Shearwater / Puffinus pacificus chlororhynchus / ‘Ua‘u kani
Approximately 10,000 – 20,000 nesting pairs at Kīlauea Point NWR.
‘Ua‘u kani nest in colonies, occupying natural crevices or burrows dug with its bill and feet.
‘Ua‘u kani feed during the day singly or in multi-species flocks. Consume larval forms of goat fish, mackerel scad, flying fish, and squid, driven to the surface by schools of predatory fish (e.g., skipjack tuna).
Monogamous. Strictly nocturnal over breeding colony. Their courtship ritual begins shortly after arrival in early March at which time they will establish territories and dig burrows in preparation for egg-laying in June. A pair will sit head to head, often near their burrow entrance, vocalizing two-part wailing duets. Returning to the same nest site or area each year, ‘ua‘u kani nest in shallow burrows, 1-2 meters in length. ‘Ua‘u kani are very synchronous nesters – all lay 1 egg within a 3-week period.
A single, large, white egg is laid in a nesting chamber at the end of burrow. Egg-laying begins around the second week of June and continues throughout the month. No relaying will occur if an egg is lost. Incubation period averages 53 days with both parents alternating shifts on the egg, with each shift lasting as long as 12 days.
Chicks hatch during late-July through late August. Parents feed regurgitated squid and stomach oil to chicks. Feeding takes place every 24 hours. Fledging occurs in approximately 110 days.