Bird Watching in Kauai – North Shore

We spent early April in Hawaii visiting Meg. The first day was on Oahu recovering from our flight to Hawaii from Boston and then flew to Kauai and got an airbnb on the East coast at Kapaa. There is only one main road on Kauai and we wanted to visit both the North and South shores for this visit, so Kapaa was centrally located. We went to the  Na Aina Kai Garden on a bird watching tour, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge twice and the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge on the North Shore. We went to the Allerton and McBryde Gardens and Waimea Canyon on the South Shore. We also spent a little time on the beaches. I took thirteen hundred pictures during the two weeks we were in Hawaii and most of them on Kauai. Meg easily doubled the number of pictures I took. I guess I am a slacker. These pictures were taken by me unless otherwise noted. So I plan to share a few photos:

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

We enjoyed our first visit so much, we went back for a second visit. It was interesting, the visits were very different as it was a different time of day. Both visits were enjoyable.


There was a walkway along the peninsula from the parking lot to the lighthouse. To the North was a shore full of nesting birds and to the South was an albatross nesting area.  There was a small island straight West from the lighthouse. The birds dig holes in the ground to nest and there were bird nests lining the walkway. You could see the parents in the nests.

Walkway to Lighthouse

Nesting Shearwaters


Red Tailed Tropic Bird


Red Footed Booby’s Nesting

Red Footed Boobies

Frigate Birds

White Tailed Tropic Bird (Meg)

The frigate birds were taking advantage of the boobies because they were bigger and too lazy to fish for themselves. They would buzz the boobies bringing food back for the chicks in the hope to take it away from them. This made for some aerial aerobatics.


Juvenile Albatross

We didn’t see any baby albatross from the point but the juveniles were doing their ritual dancing. I shot some video of it. It is a bob and weave sort of dance.

We were fortunate as we got to see more than birds both days we were there.


We didn’t see any turtles or monk seals bu we did see some mammals.

Whales (mother and calf)

We also saw some non native birds…

Northern Cardinal

Cattle Egret



Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge

We enjoyed the wildlife refuge and got some good pictures. The next stop was the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge.


Hanalei Overlook


Hawaiian Moorhen

Nutmeg Manikin (invasive)

Hawaiian Coot


Black Capped Night Heron

Plover in mating plumage

Hawaiian Stilts (Meg)

Na Aina Kai Garden

We went on a specific Na Aina Kai Garden bird walk on Wednesday morning. This was one of Meg’s priorities and it did not disappoint.  This was who greeted us at the gate to the albatross nursery. It was a wonderland after that. Babies and juveniles but no adults.

Baby Albatross

Albatross Nursery

It was a wonderous. The albatross evolved on islands with no native predators and so have no defenses. The parents can be gone as long as two weeks leaving the chicks to fend for themselves. It takes feeding from both parents to successfully rear a chick. The juveniles hang around and occasionally pick on the chicks. The chicks are not afraid of humans and were indifferent to our watching them even at close range.

This was the extent of our North Shore bird watching.

to be continued with South Shore Adventures …………….

Yours Truly

Published by mmoeller33


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