Seabird fallout season is underway, and the Hawaii Wildlife Center is once again helping bring back fallen baby birds.
The peak fallout season for juvenile wedge-tailed shearwaters, or uau kani, runs from November to December, but the season begins in mid-September and some are already in need of rescuing. This morning, the center responded to a call for a puffin on the 22nd floor of a building in Waikiki.
The Hawaii Wildlife Center, a nonprofit organization based on the island of Hawaii, for several years sent a team of specialists to Oahu to help hundreds of native seabirds survive the peak fallout season. rehabilitating and releasing them into the wild.
This year, the team will be in Oahu for the fifth consecutive season from November 15 to December 12.
During the winter months, young seabirds rely on the light of the moon to guide them on the maiden flights from their burrows to the sea, but they are confused by the artificial lights. Many end up circling around artificial light sources, then either fall from exhaustion or collide with structures. Once slaughtered, they become very vulnerable to predators, starvation, or car rollovers.
The majority of the chicks are assessed and released within days, but some require long-term care due to more serious injuries at the central main hospital in Kapaau on the island of Hawaii.
While some adults suffer from fallout, the majority are chicks no larger than the palm of the hand, with varying amounts of lint on them.
The Hawaii Wildlife Center is asking the public to keep an eye out for shot shearwaters during fallout season. If anyone sees one, they can help by picking it up, putting it in a ventilated box, and dropping it off at the following locations:
>> Feather and Fur Animal Hospital, 25 Kaneohe Bay Drive, # 132 in Kailua, available 24 hours a day.
>> Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave. in Honolulu, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
>> James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge, 56-795 Kamehameha Highway in Kahuku, available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.
For more information or for assistance with bird identification, contact the Hawaii Wildlife Center at [email protected] or call 884-5000. To learn more about the Oahu Seabird Aid program, visit this link.