Endangered Waterbirds of Hanalei

two koloa

One of our most important management functions is protecting wildlife by providing undisturbed habitat. Five endangered water birds rely on the Hanalei Valley for nesting and feeding habitat.

  • Ae‘o

    Stilt thumbnail

    The stilt's Hawaiian name "one standing tall" aptly describes this black and white bird with its long, slender pink legs.

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  • ‘Alae ke‘oke‘o

    Coot thumbnail

    Hawai‘i's endemic coot can be recognized by its white bulbous frontal shield and bill, which contrast with its dark slate-gray body.

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  • ‘Alae ‘ula

    HI moorhen thumbnail

    Also known as the Hawaiian gallinule, this elusive waterbird is endemic to Hawai‘i and inhabits the wetlands at Hanalei NWR. The moorhen has a distinct red frontal shield with a yellow tip on its bill and can be seen walking across floating vegetation with its long, unwebbed toes.

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  • Koloa maoli

    Koloa thumbnail

    Both male and female have orange legs and feet and resemble small female mallards.

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  • Nēnē

    Nene thumbnail

    Identified by dark furrows on their cream-colored necks, long legs, and reduced foot webbing, nēnē feed on tender leaves, grasses, and berries. Nēnē were extirpated from Kaua‘i centuries ago. With the escape of captive pairs into the wild in 1982 and active reintroduction efforts, they are now making a comeback.

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