Kolea estate was named after the bird which are popular among Kailua residents. Kolea are also called Pacific Golden Plover, Pluvialis fulva. They are shorebirds, and like most of their cousins are champion fliers. Kolea can fly for long periods at 50-60 miles per hour. From Hawai’i to nesting grounds in Alaska is a non-stop 3,000 mile flight.
Kolea nest on the tundra of Alaska and Siberia during the summer. They spend the rest of the year far to the south: in Hawai’i, on islands throughout the Pacific from Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to Aotearoa (New Zealand),and in Australia, southern Asia, India, and a few even as far west as Africa. Kolea probably do not float rest at sea, so they have to fly 3,000 miles non-stop from Hawai’i to Alaska! The trip may take them 2 days — thought the fastest documented trip took 70 hours from the time the bird disappeared from its territory on O’ahu until a US Fish and Wildlife plane in Alaska picked up a signal from the bird’s radio transmitter. Kolea counts and especially Staging Search may help get better estimates of how long the trip takes.
A territorial Kolea will return to its territory every year until it dies. Kolea can live over 20 years, so, the bird in your backyard is probably the same one as last year. Male Kolea return to the same nesting territory each year, and about half of females return to the same nesting territory and mate, and half show up at some other territory.