Life in Alaska

Life in Alaska

Pacific Golden-Plover in Alaska

Nesting

Red dots show nesting areas of Hawaii’s Kolea.  Blue dots show nesting areas of the South Pacific’s Kolea.

Nesting

Red dots show nesting areas of Hawaii’s Kolea.  Blue dots show nesting areas of the South Pacific’s Kolea.

Alaska Arrival

During late snow melts, Kolea arrive on frozen ground. They eat last year’s freeze-dried berries until insects begin hatching and new berries grow.

Alaska Arrival

During late snow melts, Kolea arrive on frozen ground. They eat last year’s freeze-dried berries until insects begin hatching and new berries grow.

Eggs

Males build well-camouflaged ground nests of lichen and moss. A female chooses the nest and male she prefers, mates with him and lays four eggs.
A Kolea’s 4 speckled eggs (below researchers’ boots) are nearly undetectable.

Eggs

Males build well-camouflaged ground nests of lichen and moss. A female chooses the nest and male she prefers, mates with him and lays four eggs.
A Kolea’s 4 speckled eggs (below researchers’ boots) are nearly undetectable.

Nest Defense

This male, fitted with a satellite tag (the black antennae trailing from its back is barely visible) is defending his nest and eggs from researchers, there to retrieve the tag.

Nest Defense

This male, fitted with a satellite tag (the black antennae trailing from its back is barely visible) is defending his nest and eggs from researchers, there to retrieve the tag.

Parenting

Parents take turns incubating eggs. Chicks hatch in 25 days and soon begin foraging for insects and berries. Parent Kolea do not feed their offspring, but stay with them, protecting the young from cold and predators.

Parenting

Parents take turns incubating eggs. Chicks hatch in 25 days and soon begin foraging for insects and berries. Parent Kolea do not feed their offspring, but stay with them, protecting the young from cold and predators.

Chicks

Kolea chick legs are adult-size at hatching, enabling researchers to place adult-sized ID bands on them at birth.
Summer’s offspring navigate to Hawaii on their own. Those that make it to the Islands, must then find, and defend a foraging place.
Only about 20 percent of chicks survive their first year.

Chicks

Kolea chick legs are adult-size at hatching, enabling researchers to place adult-sized ID bands on them at birth.
Summer’s offspring navigate to Hawaii on their own. Those that make it to the Islands, must then find, and defend a foraging place.
Only about 20 percent of chicks survive their first year.
A project of the Hawaii Audubon Society