Featured Species


Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is approximately 241 acres and was established in 1973 under the Endangered Species Act to recover threatened and endangered species including the koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck, Anas wyvilliana), ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot, Fulica alai), ‘alae ‘ula (Hawaiian gallinule, Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis), ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt, Himantopus mexicanus). Also included is the nēnē (Hawaiian goose, Branta sandvicensis) which has recently been listed as Threatened. Managed wetlands within the Hulē‘ia River Valley provide for the birds’ lifecycle history requirements. In addition, 26 other bird species (18 of which are introduced) also use the Refuge.

A gaggle of Hawaiian geese hanging out in lush green grass

Somewhat similar in appearance to a Canada Goose except only the face, cap, and hindneck are black; and Hawaiian geese have buff-colored cheeks. The front and sides of the neck appear to have black and white stripes. This is caused by diagonal rows of white feathers with black skin showing...

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A black and brown duck with orange feet

The Hawaiian Duck or koloa, is generally mottled brown and has a green to blue speculum (the distinctive feathers on the secondary wing feathers) with white borders. Adult males tend to have a darker head and neck feathers (sometimes green). Both sexes have orange legs and feet. Females have a...

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A small, round black bird with a red beak and crown walking through grass. The bird is calling out.

The Hawaiian common moorhen is recognized as a distinct subspecies, differing from other races in having a red blush on the front & sides of the tarsus (Taylor 1998). However, there are no evident plumage or measurement differences from forms in North America (Wilson and Evans 1890-1899;...

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A small, round black bird with a red spot on its forehead

The Hawaiian coot is smaller in body size than the American coot, & the bulbous frontal shield above the bill is distinctly larger than that of the American coot & is usually completely white (Shallenberger 1977; Pratt et al. 1987). From 1 to 3 percent of the total Hawaiian coot...

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