Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge

ʻIao Valley & Central Maui

A bird-watcher's oasis, this refuge harbors native waterbirds year-round, and hosts migratory ducks (October to April) and hawksbill and Hawaiian sea turtles (June and September). The visitor center occupies an abandoned catfish farm with footpaths atop the levees that separate the old fishponds, a layout that allows you to get very close to the birds and various species. This is also the best place to see wintering osprey, a majestic fish hawk that dive-bombs its prey in the fishponds.

You can view the pond from the coastal boardwalk on N Kihei Rd, as well as from the visitor center off Mokulele Hwy at the 6-mile marker. In both places you're almost certain to spot wading Hawaiian black-necked stilts, Hawaiian coots and black-crowned night herons – all native waterbirds that thrive in this sanctuary.

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