Big Island – Hawaii, USA


The state of Hawaii is the only U.S state located outside of North America and in the tropics. Though the 8 main islands are Ni’ihau, Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, Maui, and the largest, Hawaii, which the state is named after, the state is comprised of an archipelago of 137 islands that spread over 1,500 miles. 

Often referred to as the “Big Island”. The island of Hawaii offers unique and beautiful locations within its landscape and islands for bird watching and avid birders. “Big Island” birding hotspots include Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Pu’u La’au, Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge, and Aimakapa Road.

Birders take advantage of the extreme Hawaiian island weather while bird watching. The big island has 4 of the 5 Koppen climate types, including tropical, dry, temperate, and polar. The shifts in precipitation, temperature, and storms allow birds to take a break from foraging to take cover. After the storm, birds foraging and activity increase to make up for a lost time, this window allows birders to see these beautiful birds.  You can also celebrate Hawaii’s unique birds by attending their Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds – Ha’Akula Manu, managed by Hawaii Wildlife Center that takes place in October.

Over 350 bird species, and 142 bird species found nowhere else, are endemic to the state of Hawaii, 95 are extinct, and only 33 of the remaining 44 endemic birds are listed under the Endangered Species act. Hawaii is known as the bird extinction capital of the world. Owen has visited Hawaii 5 times since 2011, most recently in March 2022.

© Owen Deutsch

Birds found here