NATIONAL PARK SERVICE / SEPTEMBER 2002
The 'ua'u (Hawaiian dark-rumped petrel) and 'ua'u kani (wedge-tailed shearwater) can become confused by bright lights and lose their way.
Stranded seabirds could need aid
Biologists are asking the public to keep an eye out for young Hawaiian seabirds leaving their nests for the first time that might become disoriented by bright lights and become stranded.
How you can help protect seabirds
Anyone who finds a stranded seabird is asked to:
» Protect it from hazards by putting it in a well-ventilated cardboard box in a cool place. Do not give it food or water, and take care when handling the birds because they can bite.
» Report the find by calling the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife on Maui at 984-8100 or Haleakala National Park's cell phone at 264-5317 during business hours. After hours, call the nonemergency number of the Maui Police Department at 244-6400.
» Do not release the seabird. Wildlife specialists will check it for injuries and release it safely.
Two threatened species -- Hawaiian petrels ('ua'u) and wedge-tailed shearwaters ('ua'u kani) -- will be heading from Maui to ocean feeding grounds in October and November.
Both species of threatened seabirds leave their nests at night and are thought to navigate by the stars but can become confused by bright lights, such as those near hotels, stadiums and golf courses. The birds can end up flying in circles until they become exhausted and fall to the ground.
Biologists from Haleakala National Park and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources are asking for the public's help in recovering grounded birds.
The endangered 'ua'u, which nest on the slopes of Haleakala National Park, are black and white, and measure about 16 inches from beak to tail. 'Ua'u kani are gray and white and slightly larger, and nest on coastal areas of Maui and offshore islands. Both have webbed feet.