National Wildlife Refuge
|Kilauea Point Lighthouse
State Hwy 56 and Lighthouse Rd
Kilauea, Kauai, HI 96754 - 1128
Phone Number: 808-828-1413
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Continued . . . Visitors can enjoy a 0.2-mile walk to the Point. Volunteers are available to answer questions and can lend binoculars for wildlife viewing.
Nene, 'a, and 'iwa can be seen year round. Hawai'i's state bird, the nene (Hawaiian goose) disappeared from Kaua'i centuries ago. With the escape of captive pairs into the wild in 1982 and active reintroduction efforts, they are making a comeback. 'A (red-footed boobies) are Kilauea Point's most visible seabird. They nest in trees and shrubs and incubate their eggs by covering them with their large webbed feet. 'Iwa (great frigatebirds) are supremely adapted for flight, with 7-1/2 foot wings supporting 3-pound bodies. But because their legs are too short and weak to allow them to take off from water, they cannot dive to capture fish. Instead, they snatch food from the surface or forces other birds to drop their catch--thus earning its Hawaiian name, 'iwa, or "thief."
Moli (Laysan albatrosses) can be seen December to July. They navigate across thousands of miles of open ocean to return to nesting grounds on remote Pacific islands. They are famous for their elaborate courtship rituals, which include sky-pointing, bill-clapping, and bowing. Until recently, they were known only from fossils on Kaua'i. In the 1970s, they returned. Today, Kilauea Point has the highest nesting density of these birds on Kaua'i.
'Ua'u kani (wedgetailed shearwaters) spend the winter at sea, in the Gulf of Panama, and return to Hawai'i in the spring to breed. Shearwaters may be seen March through November. The cliff-nesting koa'e 'ula (red-tailed tropicbirds) and koa'e kea (white-tailed tropicbirds) are gull-sized birds with satiny white plumage and long tail streamers. They visit the refuge March through October. Red-tailed tropicbirds put on spectacular aerial shows during the breeding season. Kolea (Pacific golden plovers) migrate to Hawai'i in August from their Arctic breeding grounds and return in April. They visit lawns and golf courses as well as natural habitats.
Groups of spinner dolphins play close to shore in spring and summer, entertaining visitors with dramatic leaps and spins. Endangered humpback whales, which migrate from Alaska to Hawai'i each year to mate, give birth, and rear their young, can be seen December through April. To help protect this magnificent animal, the waters off Kilauea Point were designated a National Marine Sanctuary in 1992. Hawaiian monk seals sometimes haul out on the rocks below the cliffs. Most of these endangered seals live in the remote northwestern Hawaiian islands and have become a rare sight on Hawai'i's main islands.
Contact the refuge office for a "Kaua'i National Wildlife Refuge Complex Watchable Wildlife" brochure.
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