Wildlife Sanctuary Tour
What to Expect
The tour offers a unique view dating back to the days of Chris Hemmeter, the original developer of the property. Alan expertly guides guests through the development of the property including the original lagoon islands usage, the original trails, and their intended use. It’s not uncommon to see all five of the endangered species birds that live at Hōkūala as well as 15-20 other varieties during the tour. Because the grounds stretch from makai to mauka, there is often an opportunity to see Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles, and the pueo–Hawaiian short-eared owl–as well.
Meet The Birds
Hōkūala is home to five endangered water bird species:
- Nēnē, Hawaiian Goose (Hawaiʻi’s state bird!) — SPOT THEM by their black face and crown and cream-colored cheeks, think Canadian Goose’s cousin. Shown here!
- ‘Alaeke’oke’o, Hawaiian Coot — SPOT THEM by their white bill and bulbous frontal shield.
- Alae’ula, Common Moorhen — SPOT THEM by their prominent red shield over their red and yellow bill. Their feet are actually lobed rather than webbed!
- Koloa, Hawaiian Duck — SPOT THEM by their green to blue secondary wing feathers with a white border.
- A’eo, Hawaiian Stilt — SPOT THEM by their long, thin black bill and long, delicate pink legs.
Nēnē Geese specifically are considered a symbolic joining force between the mountains and the coast because of their seasonal movements. Hōkūala is the perfect environment for these endangered birds, with both mountains and coastline, water and food sources, ample nesting areas, and minimal predatory threats. In addition to the endangered birds on property, the tour includes numerous seabirds, shore birds & non-native birds that make Hōkūala home throughout the year. The tour offers a unique close-up view of our avian neighbors in their natural habitat.