August 21, 2020
Thank you, plover lovers, for helping add to the world’s knowledge of Hawaii’s Pacific Golden-Plovers. This website has two goals. One is to give Kolea fans a place to record facts, and share stories, about our revered native birds. The other is to enlist community members throughout the state to collect dates and numbers. We are asking these questions:
- When do Kolea arrive in the Islands?
- When do the birds leave for Alaska?
- How many individuals spend the winter here?
- How many spend Kolea over-summer in Hawaii?
Because this summer’s chicks, called first-year birds, can arrive in Hawaii as late as November, and then must secure a foraging site to survive the winter, the official count starts December 1st. We’ve divided the census into Little Counts and Big Counts:
This Kolea enjoys live mealworms offered by the yard’s owner.
People who only want to count a small area, such their backyard, a small schoolyard or church lawn, go to www.koleacount.org/report/and report your bird(s). You can report your “home bird” anytime. If it made it back, it’s likely here for the winter. If the number of Kolea in that area changes over the winter, report it again using the same address so we don’t count the same bird(s) twice.
People who can count Kolea three times this winter in large areas such as campuses, parks, cemeteries, or golf courses go to this read-only link, bit.ly/2BFwVXG to see the sites I’ve listed.
- Select your island and region, find your count location, and send Site Code and/or location name to me at koleacount.org/contact. I’ll keep track of who is counting where on a private master list. This keeps names and emails confidential.
- Count all Kolea in your site 3 times between December 1 and March 31. If you can only count once or twice, that’s OK. All data helps. If you can count more than 3 times, great. Report all numbers.
- Go to koleacount.org/report and report each of your counts separately. Enter your Site Code and/or location name, the number of birds you counted, and any comments you have about that count. You need not re-enter your personal information each time.
Updates come as News at the bottom of the HOME page. I’m working on a way for Kolea fans to subscribe to this page to give automatic email updates about the Count, T-shirts, tally counters, golf course access tips, and the latest Kolea studies. Stand by for how to subscribe.
These T-shirts will be available in about three weeks from Hawaii Audubon Society. Stand by on how to get one. We’re working on a distribution system where we get to meet some of our fellow plover lovers.
You can help improve this first, all-volunteer Kolea Count in Hawaii by sharing these guidelines with other plover lovers, and by letting me know what’s working, and what isn’t.
Contact me for Big Count locations I’ve missed, and I’ll add them. This is my first attempt at compiling Kolea foraging sites throughout the Islands, and I need plover lovers’ local knowledge.
P.S. Some people record their Kolea sightings on ebird.org/species/pagplo. If you want to only record your counts there, please let me know and I’ll get 2020-2021 winter numbers from that public Cornell Lab of Ornithology site.