National Wildlife Refuge
|66-590 Kamehameha Hwy
Phone Number: 808-637-6330
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Continued . . . Visitors take a leisurely walk to a covered kiosk overlooking several ponds. They are thrilled to see four endangered waterbirds, usually in a matter of minutes, as well as observe a number of other migratory waterbirds.
Ae'o or Hawaiian stilts are the noisiest birds on the refuge, but are most notable for their long pink legs that enable tehm to feed in shallow waters and muddy flats. Stilts are protective of their young. However, instead of feeding them, adults lead young to food. Chicks learn to feed by watching their parents.
The long-toed feet of the 'alae' ula or Hawaiian moorhen enalbe it to seemingly "walk on water" across lily pads to escape predators like the mongoose an rat. The raucus eyes of the moorhen are often the only clues to its presence since it prefers dense cover in wetlands. The colorful red, yellow, orange, and black downy chicks are cared for and fed by both parents. Because of their secretiveness, the number of moorhen is difficult to determine.
The 'alae ko'oke'o or Hawaiian coot is thought to have originated from migrant coots of North America that remained as residents of the island. Coots nest throughout the year in Hawaii, building large nests from plants, usually cattail and bulrush,
The koloa maoli or Hawaiian duck is closely related to the North American mallard, but differs in many characteristics. Koloa are usually small (teal-sized), and both male and female are mottled brown. Unfortunately, introduced mallards and native koloa have been interbreeding on Oahu. You may note mallard coloraton on some of the koloa at Oahu wetland refuges. Hybredization is presently threatenening the existence of the species on Oahu and Maui.
Bristle-thighed curlews have thrilled bird watchers at James Campbell Refuge, especially those who have tramped many miles in Alaska to add this bird to their life list.
When not nesting in Alaska, wandering tattlers are generally seen along rocky shorelines. However, they find the mudflats of James Campbell and Pearl Harbor refuges a perfect place to feed and rest in preparation for their long trip back north.
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