Hawaii: A True Birding Vacation

From Friday, March 15, 2019
To Monday, March 25, 2019
Apapane.  Photo by Eric VanderWerf.  All rights reserved.

Apapane.  Photo by Eric VanderWerf (all rights reserved).

The Hawaiian Islands have long been famous as a top vacation destination, but for birders there are so many tropical hotspots to drool over (think Costa Rica or Ecuador). Florida and South Texas are established as prime “domestic” locales for subtropical birding. But with the recent addition of Hawaii to the American Birding Association Checklist Area, the 50th state is finally getting long-deserved attention for its unique avifauna.

We were especially pleased when resident guide Mandy Talpas conjured up an equally unique birding itinerary for us. This tour takes in glorious scenery, celebrates the many honeycreepers that are the crown jewel of Hawaii’s bird life, and takes advantage of the well-established tourism infrastructure that makes Hawaii such a comfortable place to travel. This tour focuses on a number of birds not found easily elsewhere in the ABA area, including a majority of the state’s endemic species, without sacrificing creature comforts. We hope you’ll join us on a trip to paradise unlike any other Hawaiian birding excursion!

Length: 11 days

Why this timing: Endemics and pelagic species; shoulder season for general tourism

What we like most here: Birding in a world-class vacation destination! Plus the endemic bird names are fun to say. Sooooo many honeycreepers…

Top birds: Hawaiian Goose (aka Nene), Wedge-tailed Shearwater, White-tailed Tropicbird, Brown Noddy, Black Noddy, Red-footed Booby, Bristle-thighed Curlew, Hawaiian Coot, Hawaiian Gallinule, Hawaiian Stilt, Hawaiian Hawk, Hawaiian Owl, Amakihi (species: Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii), Elepaio (species: Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii), Apapane, Anianiau, Palila, Iiwi, Mariana Swiftlet, Omao, Akepa, Hawaii Creeper, Akiapolaau

Other wildlife: Marine mammals, endemic snails

Other attractions: Beachfront accommodations, tropical island scenery, endemic flora & fauna (besides birds)

Climate: 55-80°F, warm along beaches and surprisingly cool at higher elevations. Some rain can always be expected in a tropical environment.

Environment: Moist and dry broadleaf forests, high and low elevation savannas and shrublands, beaches and ocean. Oahu tends to be fairly dry; Kauai tends to be fairly wet. Habitats & birding/trail conditions correspond.

Pace/style of the tour: Moderate pace. Several early mornings; more leisurely starts when birding allows. Most walking is easy, on wide trails and roads. Some hiking on wet/muddy trails must be expected where several of the special honeycreepers reside. A few hikes/walks may be 3 miles or more. These will be optional, but your enjoyment of the tour will be greater if you are able to fully participate. Several boat trips are included; sea conditions are typically calm to moderate.

Group size: Maximum 9 participants total; 2 tour leaders

Lodging/meals: Modern beachfront hotels and excellent meals will help us refuel from our daily activities. Sack lunch may be expected most days to allow for more field time. Mode of transportation: 15-passenger van Health/safety topics: Sun exposure; standard precautions apply. All other travel risks are extremely low.

Cost:  $5995 – includes all meals and accommodations, all entrance fees, and all transportation beginning and ending in Honolulu.
TO REGISTER: call 1-877-BIRDERS [247-3377] or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Honduras Photo Gallery 

HAWAII PHOTO GALLERY courtesy Hawaii Birding & Nature Tours