Have you seen the `A`O?

Community Contributed

By Arleone Dibben-Young


`A`O or Hawaiian shearwater, courtesy Michael Walther, Oahu Nature Tours.

Recent observations of the endangered `A`O on Molokai suggest that this endangered species probably nests in remote areas on Molokai. Once known to nest on the steep slopes of the north shore and fern-covered forested areas, since 1906, this seabird has only been heard or seen in 1979, 1988, 1995 and 2009, with a single individual found grounded at One Ali`i Park three times between 2014 and 2015.  The `A`O or Hawaiian shearwater (Newell’s shearwater, Puffinus auricularis newelli), is a small black and white seabird measuring about a foot in length and with a wing span of almost three feet. Although rare, it is one of the seabird species that fisherman rely upon to locate schools of ahi.

Have you seen this bird at One Ali`i Park? It is attracted to the bright light by the playground, and will circle the light until it either strikes it or falls to the ground exhausted. Please report observations and/or bring in the bird if it is found “downed.” Call Arleone 553-5992.


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