Watch out for birds grounded on Maui
WAILUKU » State and federal biologists are asking the public to help in the recovery of young seabirds grounded after becoming disoriented by urban lights on Maui.
The seabirds -- the 'ua'u kani, or wedge-tailed shearwaters, and endangered 'ua'u, or Hawaiian petrel -- leave their nests in October and November.
Haleakala National Park Service officials note the birds sometimes become disoriented by lights from land and fly in circles around the lights until they become tired and fall to the ground.
These grounded seabirds are sometimes found near hotels, golf courses and yards with floodlights.
Biologists expect a higher numbers of groundings near the day of the full moon on Sunday.
Anyone finding a grounded seabird is asked to protect it from hazards such as cars, dogs and cats and place it in a covered, well-ventilated cardboard box in a cool or shaded place.
Officials advise not to give the birds food or water and to be careful when handling the birds because they might bite.
The public is asked to call Haleakala National Park at 264-5317 or the State Division of Forestry and Wildlife at 984-8100 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The 'ua'u, whose population is estimated at 2,000, are black-and-white seabirds with black, webbed feet. They measure about 16 inches from beak to tail and have a wingspan of about 3 feet.
The 'ua'u kani, whose population is unknown but believed to have much higher numbers than the 'ua'u, are gray-and-white seabirds that look similar to the 'ua'u and have a body extending about 17 inches from beak to tail with a wingspan of 38 inches.
'Ua'u kani nest at lower elevations on banks and cliffs near the shore, with numerous colonies along coastal areas of Maui and nearby offshore islands.