Wildlife & Habitat

Hawaiian moorhen

The refuge provides valuable nesting, feeding, and resting habitat for 50 species of birds, five of which are classified as endangered.

  • Endangered Waterbirds

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    Hanalei NWR was established under the Endangered Species Act to conserve five endangered waterbirds that rely on the Hanalei Valley for nesting and feeding habitat: the ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), ‘alae ‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen), nēnē (Hawaiian goose), and the largest population of the koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck) in the world. 

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  • Shorebirds

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    Shorebirds seen in Hawai‘i are migrants. They breed in Alaska, Canada, and Siberia and spend their winters in the tropics. At Hanalei NWR, they forage at the outlet and mudflats on the refuge, picking invertebrates and small fish from the mud and shallow water. They may also be seen in the fields, probing for insects

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