A special place is Kilauea Point NWR on the north coast of Kauai. There is a lighthouse on a cliff several hundred feet above the ocean and the seabirds are soaring at eye level. According to the Hawaii bird guide, it is the most visited NWR in the USA. It is listed at the place to find seabirds in Hawaii. They have nice signs around to help non-birders identify the different species.
|Kilauea Point NWR|
The first bird is the Great Frigatebird (Frigata minor). This long-winged bird has a deeply forked tail. The male is all black with a red throat pouch that he inflates during courtship.
|Great Frigatebird - male|
The female has a white breast.
|Great Frigatebird - female|
|Great Frigatebird - juvenile|
|Red-tailed Tropicbird - adult|
|Red-tailed Tropicbird - subadult|
The White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaeton lepturus) is smaller, has a yellowish bill and long white tail streamers. From above, it has a black 'M' on the wings.
|White-tailed Tropic Bird|
|Red-footed Booby - adult|
|Red-footed Booby - juvenile|
|Brown Booby - adult|
The last of the seabirds I was able to photograph, was the Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus). These birds nest in burrows and lay a single egg. The gray downy young can sometimes be seen if they come out of the burrow. The adults usually feed offshore during the day, and return to feed the babies at dusk. This particular adult was sitting on the nest in a planter box outside the visitor center main door! What an easy lifer!
|Wedge-tailed Shearwater - adult|
|Wedge-tailed Shearwater - chick|
David McDonald email@example.com
photos copyright 2013 David McDonald
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