Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary

Explore Kanaha Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Maui, home to 50+ bird species, including endangered Hawaiian stilt, coot, and duck. Ideal for birdwatching.

Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary is a Heritage Site located in the city of Kahului on Maui, Hawaii
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Things to Know About Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary


  • Overview: Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled between downtown Kahului and Kahului Airport on Maui, Hawaii, is a hidden gem for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. This ancient royal fishpond turned bird sanctuary offers visitors a unique and tranquil experience amidst the bustling city.
  • Highlights: The sanctuary is home to over fifty bird species, including three endangered Hawaiian species: the Hawaiian stilt (ae’o), the Hawaiian coot (‘alae), and the Hawaiian duck (koloa). This makes it a prime destination for birdwatching and wildlife photography.
  • Activities: Visitors can stroll along the paved walkway at the southern end of the refuge for optimal bird observation, or simply relax and enjoy the serene ambiance of the sanctuary. Bring binoculars for a closer look at the diverse bird species.
  • Information: Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary is open daily from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. There is no entrance fee, making it a budget-friendly attraction. The best time to visit is during the early morning or late afternoon when the birds are most active.
  • History & Significance: Believed to have been built by either chief Kihapi’ilani around 1500 or by Kapi’ioho’okalani, a chief of Oahu and Molokai, Kanaha Pond was once a royal fishpond. Today, it serves as a vital waterfowl sanctuary and was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971.
  • Tips & Insights: To make the most of your visit, consider bringing a bird identification guide to help you spot and recognize the various species. Also, be respectful of the sanctuary and its inhabitants by keeping noise levels down and refraining from feeding the birds.

Getting to the Heritage Site


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