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Ghostly Riders on the Wind

Haleakalā Park to present moonlight bird-watching program.

April 14, 2011
Maui Weekly

The free program held from 6:45 to 9:45 p.m. is limited to 60 participants and will be hosted by Dr. Fern P. Duvall, Ph.D., state wildlife biologist with the Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the State Dept. of Land and Natural Resources.

Meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Haleakalā Crater Overlook Visitors’ Center parking lot in time to outfit all flashlights or headlamps with red film coverings (which will be provided), since normal white light may disturb the seabirds’ behaviors.

Attendees are urged to carpool due to limited space and dress warmly for the 10,000-foot elevation.

Article Photos

Explore the ghostly nighttime world of the ‘ua’u, or Hawaiian petrel, at a free event on Sunday evening, April 17, at the summit of Haleakalā.

Photo: David Quisenberry

According to a spokesperson for the friends’ organization, at sunset, a short talk about the endangered ‘ua‘u, will inform participants about the fascinating life cycle of this Hawaiian seabird, which nests abundantly at Haleakalā. Attendees will also learn about its amazing far ranging behaviors over the North Pacific as it seeks food for its young.

As night falls, bird watchers will observe from the parking lot and railing area near the visitor center as petrels arrive in the full moonlight over White Hill and will hear the unique, ghostly wails, moans and squeaks of the ancient Hawaiian night as the birds return to their burrows from their long over-ocean journeys.

Seabird scientists will be on hand with some high-tech research equipment to enable observation of the birds in the nighttime air as if it were day, as they circle and sail.



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