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Birding Hawaii Extravaganza: 3 Key Islands for Birding: Oahu Island, Kauai and Big Island Plus Pelagic Day

Trip Description

Most birders add over fifty and sometimes sixty plus bird species to their ABA list with this trip to three of the islands of Hawaii.  This tour maximizes your opportunity to get over twenty Hawaiian endemic bird species, all of the islands’ other specialty bird species, and a nice tally of the many spectacular introduced species as well.


We visit all of the key birding areas on the islands, including those requiring special licensing. In Oahu, we start with birding the rainforests of the Koolau Mountains, followed by birding Oahu’s North Shore and more.


We next visit Kauai, likely adding another six to eight birds to your ABA-area list (and a chance for more). Kauai birding adds four endemic bird species, and a visit to the Kilauea Lighthouse National Wildlife Refuge (great for coastal sea birding) can add Red-footed Booby and Laysan Albatross (seasonal). This will be your best chance to see up to three tropicbird species.


We will then set off to the Big Island for birding the sub-alpine dry forests of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and more. We will include a guided tour of the highly restricted Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge (Honeycreeper Heaven). In one day at Hakalau, you will likely see ten Hawaiian endemic bird species, including six species of honeycreepers, and much more.

This tour also adds a pelagic trip (best February/March and September to November) and also adds another dozen species, including Newell’s Shearwater, Laysan Albatross, and more.  This will also add more chances (as compared to the land only Hawaiian tour) to see Hawaiian Petrel and all the Tropicbirds (including Red-tailed Tropicbird). 

If you would like to extend your visit to Volcano National Park or Pearl Harbor. Let us know if you would like to learn about these or other additions to your trip.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Arrivals into Honolulu and then Off to Waikiki

Day 2: Birding the Rainforests of the Koolau Mountains and Oahu Endemic Birding

Day 3: Oahu Island’s North Shore and More

Day 4: AM Flight to Kauai and Birding in Different


Day 5: Morning Hike Through Kokee State Park; Afternoon Birding and Sightseeing along Kauai’s Western and Southern Coasts

Day 6: AM More Kauai Birding and Late PM Arrival on Big Island

Day 7: Big Island of Hawaii: Big Day of Birding: Sub-Alpine Dry Forest of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and More

Day 8: More Big Island Birding: Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge

Day 9: Pelagic Birding from the Big Island

Day 10: Fly Out of Kona or Consider an Extension to Volcano National Park




Detailed itinerary presented below.

More details about this trip:

As a note, our guides can be hired (one or two additional days) to find three more very difficult to find species. Akikiki and Puaiohi require over eight miles of difficult hiking. Akekee is simply very rare, and few birders are fortunate to see this species (even after a lot of work).

Detailed Itinerary

Download our detailed itinerary for our Hawaii Birding tour, or read it below.

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