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Shangri La Stories

Stories from the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design

Stories from the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design

A Home for ‘Ua‘u kani: Shangri La’s Connection with Seabirds

Shangri La is located near the Freeman Seabird Preserve, a prominent urban refuge for Hawaiian seabirds located at Kūpikipi’ō (an area known as Black Point) on the southern coast of O‘ahu. On July 13, Shangri La staff met with Rachael Sitzer of the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center to discuss best practices when taking care of downed seabirds like the ‘ua‘u kani (wedge-tailed shearwater) and protecting their habitat. ‘Ua‘u kani are seen on property year after year, and we have been interested to explore how we can be a part of supporting their onshore colonies when they arrive back on island following their offshore winter adventures.  

Fun Facts About ‘Ua‘u kani 

  • ‘Ua‘u kani are monogamous and form pair bonds that last for several years 
  • They only come to land to nest, and build their nests underground 
  • The female lays a single egg, and both parents take turns incubating it 
  • The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge around 70 to 80 days after hatching 
  • They’re the largest tropical shearwater species 

During her visit to Shangri La, Sitzer shared her expertise on reducing the chance of groundings and injuries of ‘ua‘u kani  by providing valuable guidance.  

Here are some quick tips provided by the Hawaii Wildlife Center that can help reduce groundings: 

  • Installing motion detection lights  
  • Turn off outdoor lighting during fledging season in November, especially if you are near the coastline or ‘ua‘u kani habitat  
  • Change outdoor lights to warmer, yellow color  
  • Adjust light fixtures to a downward direction 

Caption: Sitzer pictured alongside Jeremy Pang, Galleries and Collections Coordinator and Lynne Najita, Conservation Technician. 

What if you find a downed seabird? Read tips from the Hawaii Wildlife Center: 

Report a downed seabird: 

(808) 884-5000 

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