Injured Seabirds

What You Can Do

Found an inured seabird? Here's what you can do:

Wedge-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus) are the most commonly seen seabirds in Hawai‘i. The species forms colonies and nest in underground burrows or natural crevices. The adults arrive in March and usually lay a single egg in June. Most birds arrive at the colony at dusk and leave the site before dawn.

Young or juvenile birds depart their colonies in late fall and are often stranded on land due to disorientation caused by artificial lights. Disoriented birds are commonly observed circling around exterior light sources until they fall to the ground or collide with structures, resulting in possible injury or death. Downed or stranded birds often are hit by cars or fall prey to cats and dogs.

Sea Life Park Hawai‘i is an approved seabird rehabilitation facility on O‘ahu and is located at 41-202 Kalanianaole Highway Suite #7, Waimanalo, HI 96795, Tel. (808) 259-7933. The Park is available 24 hours per day all year to receive birds. Our bird drop is next to our Sea Bird Rehabilitation Center located in our lower parking lot. We have bird kennels available and a small questionnaire that we ask you to fill out regarding the bird. Wildlife Officials recommend that residents that encounter a stranded seabird adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Gently pick up the stranded bird using a towel or cloth.
  • Record basic information (e.g., date bird was found, location and general condition or appearance of the bird).
  • Place the bird in a dry, clean cardboard box. Make sure the box is properly ventilated. A towel or piece of cloth can be placed at the bottom of the box.
  • Stranded seabirds may be injured or exhausted and should not be given food or water
  • The seabird should then be transported to Sea Life Park in a timely manner to improve the bird’s chances for survival.

  • Once at Sea Life Park
    o During business hours, the gate attendant will direct you to the place to drop off the bird.
    o After business hours, the public will find a shelter containing bird kennels at the rear of the parking lot on the right-hand side. Birds can be left in the kennels where a Sea Life Park staff member will pick them up in the morning.
    o In the event that a concerned resident is unable to transport the bird, please leave the bird in a safe location at or near where you found it.

    Interesting Facts

  • Research has shown that if young seabirds are released while underweight and/or dehydrated their likelihood of survival after release is reduced.
  • Information collected by Sea Life Park, especially regarding where birds were found, assists those working to reduce the number of downed or stranded birds.
  • Although Wedge-tailed shearwaters are a legally protected species, concerned residents are free to respond to (i.e., retrieve) a live bird that is in obvious danger (e.g., on the roadway, in a construction zone etc.) or appears to be injured or in poor health.
  • Known nesting locations around O‘ahu include Diamond Head/Black Point, Malaekahana, Kahuku, and the offshore islands off the windward coastline

  • (News Release. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

    The Sea Life Park Seabird Rehabilitation Facility has been helping native seabird populations and educating the public on the signs to look for in distressed seabirds since the 70s. Federally protected Wedge-tailed and Newell’s shearwater chicks are particularly vulnerable following breeding season, and the Park assists hundreds of seabirds during these peak months alone with a highly successful release. The facility is equipped to receive injured seabirds 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is the primary rehabilitation facility on Oahu.

    In one season alone; Sea Life Park Hawaii took in, rehabilitated, and released over 800 sea birds and since 2005, over 4,000 seabirds have been rescued and released. Birds that are unable to be released are provided a home at the Park’s Seabird Sanctuary.