Shoreline bird inventories in three national parks in Hawaii: Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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Kozar, Kelly; Swift, Roberta; Marshall, Susan
report description
Shoreline bird surveys were conducted in Kalaupapa National Historical Park (KALA), Haleakala National Park (HALE), and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) to inventory avian species diversity and relative abundance. Seasonal migrants (waterfowl, shorebirds) were the primary focus of the routine surveys, but seabirds, raptors, and waterbirds were also recorded as encountered. The coastline of KALA was surveyed once over a two-day period, 5-6 April 2005. The park coast consists of sandy and rocky beaches, steep rock cliffs adjoining grassy pastures, and uninhabited offshore islets. Two nonadjacent coastline segments in HALE, Kipahulu and Kaapahu, were surveyed twice each over a two-day period, 30-31 March 2005. The coast consists of steep rock cliffs adjoining grassy pastures and rocky beaches. Bird surveys were conducted along shorelines in and adjacent to HAVO. Each coastal segment was surveyed continuously throughout the day between 7-17 March 2005. Although much of the shoreline of HAVO is characterized by steep lava cliffs, shoreline habitat also includes small sand and cobble beaches, anchialine pools, tide pools, and periodically inundated areas. Pacific Golden Plovers (Pluvialis fulva), Wandering Tattlers (Heteroscelus incanus), and Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) are common seasonal migrants that were observed along the survey routes. Five seabird species common to the Hawaiian Islands, Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus), Black Noddy (Anous minutus), Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) and White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) were observed as well. Sooty Terns (Sterna fuscata) were heard at night, and a Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) and a Bonaparte’s Gull (Larus philadelphia) were seen in HAVO. An unknown booby species, most likely Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) was seen on the offshore islets of KALA. The introduced Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), a heron that thrives in pastures near open water, was abundant throughout the HALE survey. All passerine species observed along the shoreline route were non-native. No waterfowl or raptors were observed during the survey.