Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii covering about 730 square miles. Maui County includes four islands, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and unpopulated Kahoʻolawe as well as the main island. Maui was nicknamed “the valley isle” because of its famous Iao Valley. Its lush habitat and deep rooted history has made it a National Natural Landmark in 1972.
It can be quite frustrating for bird watchers and bird photographers on Maui since endemic birds can be quite difficult to find on the island. Most native forest birds can only be spotted at high elevations (over 4500 feet). This is due to the fact that deadly mosquitos that carry avian malaria typically cannot survive at these heights due to the colder weather. The number one concern facing the forest bird population in the area is avian malaria.
A redeeming factor for birdwatchers and bird photographers alike is Haleakalā National Park. More endangered species live in Haleakalā National Park than any other national park in the United States. Inside this expansive park is an area called Hosmer Grove. This birding hotspot is home to Apanane, Hawaii Amakihi and Iiwi, and the endangered Nene. The Nene is the state bird of Hawaii, since the species is only found on the Hawaiian islands. It is also considered the rarest goose in the world. It can be spotted along the hiking trails at Haleakalā. Other water birds, finches, doves, and honeycreepers also thrive on Maui in different areas.
Owen traveled to the island of Maui in March 2022.
© Owen Deutsch
Birds found here
Hawaiian Stilt (Ae’o)