October 17, 2023

Aloha, kōlea fans. Our adult plovers have returned home (I consider Hawaiʻi their home since they spend nine months of the year here.) The birds are busy, busy, busy, eating to regain the fat stores they used up during their 3,000-mile nonstop flight to the Islands.

My bird, Jake, is exceptionally bold this year, stepping close to my lanai for his scrambled egg. He looks like a different bird from the last time I saw him, April 25th. He’s thin now and in winter attire. Like all plover lovers, I’ll enjoy watching the transformation.

Jake arrived August 11th this year. Here he is this morning eating scrambled egg, rich in fat and protein, and just what he needs. ©Susan Scott

Our Jake, April 25th, plump and dressed to the nines.  ©Susan Scott

Thank you to all who reported plovers’ 2023 arrival dates and places. In that, you help us learn more about our much-loved native birds. So far we have 390 entries with a total of 1,355 birds reported. Because this summer’s offspring can still arrive in November, arrival reporting continues through November.

Photographer and kōlea fan, Robert Weber, shared this photo he took of a kōlea flock near Kahuku on October 13. These birds may be summer offspring that made it from Alaska to Hawaiʻi. Plover youngsters, have no adult guidance. Navigation is by instinct.  

On December 1st, the Kolea Count begins again. Please see the places I’ve listed here where you can count. If I didn’t include your site, let me know and I’ll add it. Email me your choice in the contact tab and I’ll mark it as taken. X marks the spot.

If you need some good news for a change (and who doesn’t?), join us at the Hawaii Audubon’s annual dinner meeting at Atherton Halau. I’ll be giving a brief slide show about our kōlea chick trips in Nome, an update on another favorite, Honolulu’s manu o Kū, and a few other happy bird doings.

Pat Hart, the man with the mellow voice who shares bird songs and bird facts on Hawaii Public Radio’s Manu Minute, is our guest speaker. Just hearing our birds sing and Pat’s pleasant voice gives me a lift.

TICKETS HERE or at https://hiaudubon.org/