There are a number of familiar North American breeding shorebirds, that winter on Maui, so it was fun to see them again. Maui has 2 wetland areas, both of which are wildlife refuges. The commonly occurring birds have local Hawaiian names but some of the rarer birds do not.
The Hawaiian Coot (Fulica alae) is known locally as 'Alae Ke'oke'o. It was recently split as a separate species from the American Coot. It looks identical. It is an endangered species. I had seen the coot on an earlier trip to Maui before the split, so it was not a lifer.
The most common shorebird is the Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva). The local name is Kolea. As well as in the wet lands, this bird is found on lawns, golf courses etc all over the islands. In North America, however, it is found only in western Alaska while breeding, and occasionally as a vagrant along the west coast. Here are a couple of photos of the plover. Some golden feathers can still be seen on the back.
The last of the common wintering shorebirds I found was the Wandering Tattler (Heteroscelus incanus). Its local name is 'Ulili. This 11" shorebirebird is all gray with a white belly and yellow legs. It is found on the west coast of North America, but seldom in the east. I have only seen it a few times in the past.
|Semi-palmated Plover - Maui|
photos copyright 2012 David McDonald
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