A little endangered Hawaiian Stilt chick is all grown up and ready to be on its own after a seven week stay at the Hawai‘i Wildlife Center (HWC).
The chick was rescued on O‘ahu and after an unsuccessful attempt to reunite the chick with its parents, it was decided that the young bird would need to be sent to HWC to be raised until it was old enough to be on its own. The successful rescue and release was a team effort by USDA Wildlife Services, Wheels for Wildlife volunteers, Feather and Fur Animal Hospital, the Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), and the Hawai‘i Wildlife Center.
While at HWC, the chick was monitored using a remote camera system and staff took great care to prevent the stilt from becoming accustomed to humans. In addition to minimizing physical contact, HWC staff used a mirror and photos of stilt habitat and Hawaiian Stilt adults in the incubator and aviary to provide some enrichment while the bird was in HWC care.
The bird’s growth was documented through weekly pictures taken from intake until it was transferred to O‘ahu DOFAW staff for release yesterday.
This release is the latest in a busy release week for HWC, including a Hawaiian Duck (Koloa Maoli) from O‘ahu, Wedge-tailed Shearwater (‘Ua‘u kani) from O‘ahu, and a White-tailed Tropicbird (Koa‘e kea) from O‘ahu.