Many different types of birds can be seen but the highlight of the tour is the Layson Albatross, a protected species, a number of which call Na 'Aina Kai home (when they're not at sea). The intent is to give participants a glimpse into their lives; a view of these large, beautiful birds as they build nests, incubate eggs, and raise chicks. Albatross are “dyanamic soarers” and efficient flyers as they fly thousands of miles across the North Pacific to the cold, nutrient-rich waters of Alaska and the Aleutians to feed and gather food for their chicks and then all the way back to Kauai to continue nesting duties.
The time of season will influence what phase of the albatross' life you may see.
Egg laying occurs from about the last week of November through the first week of December.
Non-nesting albatross court from late November through March.
Eggs hatch from about the last week of January through mid-February.
Chicks fledge from about mid-June through mid-July.
A spotting scope will also be available for a closer look into the lives of these splendid birds.
(Albatross photos by Hob Osterlund.)
Other birds you may see in the gardens or flying along the cliffs includes Red-tailed Tropicbirds, White-tailed Tropicbird, Great Frigatebirds, Pacific Golden-plovers, Red-Footed Booby, Brown Booby, Black-Crowned Night Heron, White-Rumped Shama, Red-Crested and Northern Cardinals, Northern Mockingbird, Japanese White-Eye, Western Meadowlark, Chestnut and Nutmeg Manikin, Pheasants, Java Sparrows, and of course, jungle fowl (Moa). You may also see two endangered species, found only in the Hawaiian Islands; Hawaiian Moorhen (Gallinule) and the Hawaiian Goose (Nene) the Hawaii State Bird and the only living species of goose left in the Hawaiian Islands.