Breeding season at Ka’ena Point

Each winter, Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) come to Ka’ena Point on O’ahu to mate and breed.

Laysan Albatross are quite common in the northwest Hawaiian chain (our old friends Laysan and the French Frigate Shoals). In the main Hawaiian islands, they are most common at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Reserve on Kaua’i and at Ka’ena Point here on O’ahu.

It’s a hot, 30 minute hike to the breeding grounds. It’s mostly coastal strand vegetation, so there aren’t many trees to provide shade from the beating sun. You can get to the point from either the Wai’anae side or North Shore. I’ve only come from the North Shore so far. For first 3/4’s of the way, the hiking trail is actually shared with off-road vehicles. The last 1/4, the hike is closed to off-road vehicles (dog’s too for the dog walkers out there).

While the breeding albatross are the main attractions, Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangeliae) and Hawaiian Monk Seals (Monachus schauinslandi) are occasionally seen. I’ve seen the seals out there, but I haven’t seen the whales yet.

Links-

Ka’ena Point Ecosystem Restoration

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