Hawaii, USA

About

Hawaii is the only U.S state located outside of North America and in the tropics. It is in the Pacific Ocean. The state encompasses nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, 137 islands that spread over 1,500 miles. Though, the 8 main islands are Ni’ihau, Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, Maui, and the largest, Hawai’i, which the state is named after. It is often called the “Big Island”. Hawaii offers unique and beautiful locations within its landscape and islands for bird watching and avid birders. A birding trip is not complete without visiting the 4 main islands – Kaua’i, O’ahu, Maui, and the big island. Most travelers, tourists, and birders arrive in the capital city of Honolulu, on O’ahu island, which makes it easy to island-hop for bird watching and exploring. Some Hawaii Birding hotspots include Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, located on the big island, Koke’e State park and Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, both located on the island of Kaua’i, Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, located on Maui Island, and James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on O’ahu island. Each Hawaiian island has its own set of unique birds and some of the rarest plants and bird species on earth. Take advantage of the extreme Hawaiian island weather while bird watching. The big island alone 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. Over 350 bird species, and 142 bird species found nowhere else, endemic to Hawaii, 95 of these are extinct, and only 33 of Hawaii’s remaining 44 endemic birds are listed under the Endangered Species act. Hawaii is known as the bird extinction capital of the world. Though it is an opportunity for visitors, tourists, and birders to learn more about endangered wildlife. It has over 25% of the endangered species in the country, many being 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. Owen has visited Hawaii 4 times since 2011.

© Justin Lam

Birds found here