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Haleakala Ground Nesting Birds

Haleakala National Park

Facts About Haleakala
Haleakala Crater Vistas
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© S. Conant
Adult Nene (Hawaiian Goose)
The nene is the only remaining species of Hawaiian goose. Fossil records indicate that four other species of goose once existed on Maui. Two of these extinct species, like the nene, were relatively small and capable of flight. The other two species were larger, heavily constructed and flightless. It is estimated that as many as twelve species of geese once inhabited Hawaii. The nene have adaptations for life in Hawaii such as reduced webbing on their feet to aid in walking over sharp volcanic rock.

© N. Carlson
Pueo - Hawaiian Short-eared Owl - Asio flammeus sandwichensis
The pueo, or Hawaiian short-eared owl, feeds on small rodents, insects and sometimes birds in the open shrublands of Haleakala. It is most active at dawn and dusk and is often seen flying overhead on cloudy days. The pueo is generally silent, but its call is a muffled bark. This bird is revered as aumakua, a guardian spirit, by many Hawaiians.

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'Ua'u (Dark-rumped Petrel)
This medium size bird has a dark gray head, back, and wings. The underside of the bird is white. Its bill is black and its feet are pink and black. The 'Ua'u spends a large part of its life at sea and is hardly seen when not in the nesting colony. Consequently, these birds were assumed extinct until they were re-discovered at Haleakala in the late 1970's. Their presence in the nesting colony is obvious from their haunting cries audible only at night. Listen for them while camping in the wilderness area of Haleakala.

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