Hawaiian Stilt or Ae’o (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni) photo by Rob Ripma

There are over 560 National Wildlife Refuges, at least one in every state. In an effort to introduce our readers to as many of our refuges as possible, we will bring you posts by several outstanding birders and bloggers in our community so that you may more fully experience these national treasures.

Established in 1992, Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge encompasses approximately 700 acres and is one of the few natural wetlands remaining in the Hawaiian Islands. Located along the south-central coast of the island of Maui, between the towns of Kīhei and Mā‘alaea, it is a natural basin for a 56-square mile watershed from the West Maui Mountains.

Rob Ripma, a life-long Indiana resident, is owner and creator of NuttyBirder.com, the place to go to find birds. He is also a partner in Sabrewing Nature Tours, leading birding and photography trips in the US and Central and South America. Rob currently sits on the Black Swamp Bird Observatory‘s (Ohio) Board of Directors as Secretary.

Rob and his wife visited the refuge about a year ago, treating us to some great images of the new visitor center and both the endangered Hawaiian Stilt and Hawaiian Coot. Enjoy Rob’s post on the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge here.

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