Seasons of Wildlife

Kīlauea Point is 200 ft above sea level and although there is no beach access, spinner dolphins, humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals, and green turtles can all be spotted in the waters below. Each year, thousands of endemic, native, migratory, and invasive birds use the Refuge for nesting, foraging, or resting. Native Hawaiian coastal plants including naupaka kahakai (Scaevola taccada) and ‘akoko (Euphorbia haeleeleana) have been restored on the Refuge and constant effort is made to manage the overwhelming pressure of invasive plants.

Weather in the Hawaiian Islands is very consistent, with only minor changes in temperature throughout the year. There are really only two seasons in Hawaiʻi; Hoʻoilo (Winter) and Kauwela (Summer). Although the two seasons vary a bit in precipitation, the temperature variance is small. This is because there is only a slight variation in length of night and day from one part of Hawaiʻi to another and because all its islands lie within a narrow latitude band. There is also a nearly constant flow of fresh ocean air across the islands, which regulates the temperature. The small seasonal changes provide the perfect habitat for wildlife to near and rear their young year 'round. 

Hoʻoilo (Winter)

November to April. Daytime highs at sea level range from 79–83 °F (26–28 °C)

Laysan albatross

Mōlī / Phoebastria immutabilis 
November - July

Pacific Golden Plover

Kōlea /Pluvialis fulva
Found on Kaua'i from August – April

Ruddy Turnstone

‘Akekeke / Arenaria interpres
Found from August-May

Humpback Whale

Koholā / Megaptera novaengliae
November - March

Kauwela (Summer)

May to October. Daytime highs at sea level range from 84–88 °F (29–31 °C).

Red-tailed Tropicbird

Koa'e ula / Phaethon rubricauda
February - October

White-tailed Tropicbird

Koa‘e kea / Phaethon lepturus dorotheae 
February - October

Wedge-tailed Shearwater

‘Ua‘u kani / Puffinus pacificus
Found on Kaua'i from March – November

Wandering Tattler

‘Ūlili / Heteroscelus incanus
Found on Kaua'i in stages

  • Adults from July to August
  • Juveniles from September to November

Year-Round

Red-footed Booby

 Ā /Sula sula rubripes

Great Frigatebird

‘Iwa / Fregata minor palmerstoni

Brown Booby

 ‘A / Sula leucogaster
Speculated to be found at Kīlauea Point year round, though they are more likely to be seen March through September.

Hawaiian Goose

 Nēnē / Branta sandvicensis

Featured Species

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...

FWS Focus

Adult Black-footed Albatross are large seabirds though small compared with other albatross species. They are very long with narrow wings, mostly dusky brown, white at the base of their bill and under eye, and have a large bill. Juveniles are similar to adults, but usually have less white at the...

FWS Focus

Medium to large falcon, with bluish-gray upperparts (becoming more blackish on head) in adults, variable-width blackish facial stripe extending down from eye across malar, this stripe usually set off by pale auriculars or "cheek," but pattern sometimes obscured if cheek all dark; underparts...

FWS Focus