The Kolea are coming home.  Plover fans have reported a total of 14 birds so far in July.  I say home because these migratory shorebirds spend only three or so months of the year in their Alaska breeding grounds, and the other nine in Hawaii.

Lucky us.  Nowhere else in the world do migratory shorebirds live in harmony with humans the way our Kolea have learned to do here in our islands.  And now, thanks to hundreds of Hawaii’s devoted plover lovers, our 2020 idea of asking residents and visitors to count and monitor Kolea was so successful that we’re continuing the count long-term.

You can help these remarkable shorebirds by participating in the now-annual Hawaii Audubon Society project here at

Check out the new REPORT choices. Record arrival, departure, a backyard bird (Little Count), or any other plover doings you would like to share.  Sign up for Big Counts at the read-only site: and see Guidelines tab for count particulars.  Let me, Susan Scott, know in the CONTACT tab the area you can count.  I will mark it as TAKEN, and keep my master list of names and emails private.

Thank you for helping fine tune the Big Count list by letting me know places where Kolea hang out that are not on the list, or places on the list that never have Kolea.

2020 pilot study results, in brief:

  • 611: number of people who entered reports
  • 4,196: number of bird observations reported
  • 167: Number of Kolea with given names (Sir Lancelot, Bob, etc.)
  • Oahu: Island with most entries
  • 40: number of Kolea reported in June, or birds that did not migrate (summered-over)

2020 pilot study results in detail:

Below are graphs of counts by months, islands, zip codes and more. * Special thanks to volunteer, Dr. Brad Schultz, for organizing the spreadsheet into such a comprehensive and attractive analysis, and for counting hundreds of Kolea while visiting Oahu.

Total number of birds reported: